Horizons Regional Council’s river alert system has received an update, making the system more effective in providing automated alerts in flood situations.
The river alert system is a free service that notifies users via phone call when river or stream levels reach a certain height at their nominated location. It’s a popular service for landowners who live near waterways, and can help users decide when to take action to protect assets and property.
Horizons group manager regional services and information Ged Shirley says this system update is long-awaited, and has been undertaken carefully to ensure effective operation and clear alerts.
“Our river alert system needed an update to address delays with the previous system sending out alerts in a timely manner,” says Mr Shirley.
“This new update reduces this risk by providing faster sending of alerts to users so they have more time to act on the warning. It also now has double the capacity for signed-up users than what the old system could handle.
“The river monitoring sites we use to capture the river height data, and which trigger the automated alerts to be sent out, had also changed and needed updating. Since rivers naturally change over time, or can be damaged by extreme weather such as Cyclone Gabrielle, movement of these sites is a regular and expected part of maintenance for this system.
“The update also provides clearer and more accurate pronunciation of Māori place names to ensure the system is as effective as possible in providing the service it was designed for,” he says.
Horizons manager emergency management Chay Hook highly recommends the service to those who live in or have assets located in potentially flood-threatened areas.
“The river alert system is a great tool for landowners to have in their asset protection arsenal. It provides peace of mind and sends key alerts so you know when you need to take action to protect yourself, whānau, animals and/or livestock, and property from potential flooding – especially if a flood occurs in the middle of the night,” he says.
The system is free and anyone can sign up on the Horizons website at https://envirodata.horizons.govt.nz/river-alert-system.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to sign up for automated alerts but want to check river heights and rainfall data, you can do so at any time on the Horizons website at https://envirodata.horizons.govt.nz/.