Re: “A leap of faith in flood control”, News, June 17.
I don’t regard the Flood-to-Field Diversion Scheme as a leap of faith. The article provides a good explanation of how it will work. It is based on sound engineering principles and will certainly reduce the frequency and severity of downstream flooding. However, there will still be flooding.
Although the pattern of rainfall may be generally similar from year to year, the severity and frequency of extreme rainfalls is variable – hence the use of predicted 100-year (or greater) return period floods for planning.
Also, removal of tree cover and development of urban areas has greatly increased peak run-off rates, so flood flows are now much greater than historic “natural” values.
The lives and incomes of people living in the storage areas will be badly affected though, and I hope that this aspect is being properly addressed. And, as the farmer interviewed suggested, development of seasonal fishing by setting up hatcheries for suitable fish species could be part of that.