Wellington Region Flood Warning Service Review
Flood warning services in the Wellington Region are provided as a team effort across Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC). Flood Warning primarily involves the Flood Protection Department, the Environmental Science Department, and the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO). Providing adequate flood warning services is a critical role for GWRC and an area of significant risk if something goes wrong.
The current system has not been reviewed recently and has never had a comprehensive review looking at what service is provided and how it is delivered, or indeed why we have a flood warning service at all. The current setup pre-dates the establishment of WREMO in 2012.
Establishing our desired level of service
Mid 2016 we asked any people that are part of or use the flood warning system to complete a survey about their experiences and what they wanted out of a flood warning system. We also ran stakeholder workshops where we asked these same questions in groups. This feedback was distilled into a reasonable and achievable definition of what the service level should be.
Our overall philosophy is: the right message to the right person, in the right way, at the right time. We will work towards a flood warning system that is consistent with best practice.
Creating our recommendations report
Our level of service that we decided on was then compared to the existing service and an assessment was made of what needs to change to achieve the level of service. The Risk and Society Team from GNS Science helped the project team with this task.
Next steps to implementation
We are now putting together an implementation plan to carry out the recommendations of the report. This will be completed over the next couple of months and will feed into our Long Term Plan discussions. The implementation plan itself will extend over several years.
A strong outcome from the work we did with our stakeholders has been the need to build on the good systems we already have, and this is what the implementation plan will do. We have identified seven work streams:
• Risk-based approach
• One-stop shop for flood warning info
• Multi-agency coordination
• Structural/system improvements
• Improve infrastructure
• Engagement and awareness
• Warning delivery