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Waitakere stormwater project gets financial boost

Waitakere stormwater project gets financial boost

Waitakere City Council’s endeavour to restore it’s waterways has received support from Infrastructure Auckland in the form of two grants totalling almost $9.4 million dollars.

Waitakere City Council’s Environmental Management Committee Chair, Councillor Penny Hulse, says the Council are very grateful for the funding, which is for the Lower Oratia and Pixie Streams.

The grants will be made to Waitakere City Council in stages upon completion of various phases of Project Twin Streams - a long-term project to restore the natural environment alongside some of the city’s major streams.

The project focuses on “soft” engineering, whereby the many kilometres of streamside restoration will work together with the community and modern stormwater management, to ensure Waitakere’s stormwater is appropriately managed as the city grows.

“The money is a vital component of the project. The other vital component is the development of a partnership with the community,” says Councillor Hulse.

The grant is the first-ever of that size to be awarded to stormwater quality by Infrastructure Auckland, which awards grants to projects that will make an innovative and positive contribution to the wellbeing of the region.

The Council would like to hear from residents and community groups who are keen to participate in stream-planing and restoration projects. For more information, please phone 835 0290.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Stormwater management

When rain lands on soft natural surface (plants and soil) it creates fewer problems than if it lands on hard surfaces – rock, concrete, roofs and roads.

In the natural environment, in all but extreme storms, much of the water eventually soaks into the ground. This spreads its impact out, slows the process by which it returns to streams and other waterways and filters it.

Every hard surface – such as a driveway, car park, road or roof, and stormwater drain – however, concentrates and accelerates the water. Streams form readily and flow across the hard surfaces quickly creating surface flooding and sweeping pollutants along with it. These polluted torrents overwhelm drains and streams and generate floods.

With Project Twin Streams, Waitakere is endeavouring to approach future stormwater management holistically using the most effective balance possible between “soft” engineering (using natures methods) and “hard” engineering.

Community participation in Project Twin Streams

The Council is encouraging local residents to get involved in Project Twin Streams by: preventing litter, organic waste (glass clippings, etc) vehicle pollution, herbicides, detergents and garden fertilisers from entering the City’s waterways reducing the amount of concrete and asphalt (which increases rain run-off) on their property installing raingardens or rainwater tanks to catch run-off from hard surfaces cleaning cars at carwash outlets or on a grassy area to reduce contamination of stormwater preventing paint and oil getting into stormwater drains clearing weeds, and planting trees and shrubs along the extensive stream banks participating in Operation Spring Clean, WaiCare or other community programmes that benefit the environment caring for a small section of a stream and streambank entering partnerships to allow riparian margins to be established alongside streams getting involved in community-based decision making for the project supporting Project Twin Streams’ funding applications to Infrastructure Auckland

The Council would like to hear from residents and community groups who are keen to participate in the project. For more information, please phone 835 0290.

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