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Canterbury river levels Jan 1, 2011 – Update 2pm

Canterbury river levels Jan 1, 2011 – Update 2pm.

Upper Waitaki Lakes and Rivers.

The Met Service has issued a severe weather warning of more rain falling in the Waitaki lakes and river catchment area. Approximately 100 to 150mm of rain may fall into the catchment from midnight Saturday, January 1 until midday Sunday, January 2.

Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau are full and recent heavy rain in the catchment has led to spills down the Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau Rivers . The predicted rain will add to the continuation of the spillage from these lakes into the Lower Waitaki River system. Flows in these rivers are likely to increase through the following days.

Holidaymakers and campers in the vicinity need to be aware of the risk of rising rivers and lakes.

Lakes Benmore, Aviemore, Waitaki and the Lower Waitaki River

As a result of the earlier high inflows in the upper catchment lake levels at Benmore, Aviemore and Waitaki have reached capacity. Water is being discharged at Benmore and Aviemore Dams. Currently, the Waitaki Dam is discharging at rate of 1600 to 1700 cumecs into the Lower Waitaki River .

Lower Waitaki River flows may increase over the next few days depending on how much rain does fall into the catchment.

Farmers, landowners, holidaymakers and campers adjacent to the Lower Waitaki River and the lakes need to be aware of the risk of rising rivers and lakes.

For the latest flow information refer to Environment Canterbury's River Flow page http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/monitoring/river-flows/Pages/River-flows-south.aspx .

Please note – There are currently no concerns that the flood protection stopbanks will not cope with this weather event.

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