Flooding and lake levels
We can't stop flooding but we can learn to live with it by being prepared.
Lake Wakatipu and Lake Wanaka are prone to flooding. Major floods in 1995 and 1999 caused a lot of damage to the central business districts in Queenstown and Wanaka, and some residential areas in Kingston and Glenorchy.
Monitoring Lake Levels
Anyone can monitor the lake levels by visiting the Otago Regional Council website - see the links on the right. Lake levels are also physically monitored by Council staff during heavy rainfall.
|First warning level||Standby level||Flood (low lying areas)|
Reaching this first warning level does not mean there’s a flood. It simply means that the Council will begin communicating with businesses and residents that could be affected by a flood and encouraging them to begin implementing their own flood management plan.
The following brochures have some good simple advice on how to make plans to reduce possible effects of flooding on your building.
>> What to do in a flood in the Queenstown Central Business District (PDF, 2MB)
>> What to do in a flood in the Wanaka Central Business District (PDF, 2MB)
>> A guide to flood proofing your building and contents (PDF, 530KB)
>> A guide to flood response in the Glenorchy township (PDF, 321KB)
Learning to live with Flooding – Joint Risk Management
In October 2006 the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Otago Regional Council adopted a joint risk management strategy for the Queenstown Lakes District. See the links on the right.
Monitor Lake Levels
Joint Flood Strategy