If you feel like this winter has been more than a little wet in the Bay of Plenty, current Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s data backs you up – many weather stations are showing that this is one of the wettest winters for ten years.
Regional Council’s Data Services team has a network of around 130 automated monitoring stations throughout the region and they collect a huge amount of valuable environmental data. The data from across the region is well above what is considered normal for the calendar year. Some are close to double the normal rainfall.
Chris Ingle, Regional Council’s General Manager, Integrated Catchments said that while there was little Council could do about the wet, having the data was helpful for Council and for the wider community to help planning.
“Most of us feel like there has been much more rain than usual this year and the data backs us up on that. It has been an incredibly wet winter. The groundwater experts in Council are telling me that the groundwater aquifers are fully charged, to the point that new springs are popping up in completely new locations or in places that we haven’t seen for decades.
“We can’t control the weather but knowing this help us plan accordingly. And it can help others as well, particularly the rural communities.
“We are asking farmers to take care to keep grazing on stopbanks to a minimum to avoid damaging our community assets with pugging and erosion. We are getting a number of reports of farmers moving stock to stopbanks for long periods to avoid low-lying and wet areas of their farms. This can cause damage to the structures and a weakness where the soil has been damaged.
“Our teams are still working incredibly hard on emergency works identified following the April flooding and we have a list of more than 500 repairs jobs across the river schemes that are being costed and prioritised. But we are not able to do many of our physical works simply because the ground is too wet,” Mr Ingle said.