Lismore flood researchers travel to Netherlands, Denmark
OVERSEAS flood management strategies have been harnessed by Lismore researchers as part of upcoming research into flood mitigation on the Northern Rivers.
Southern Cross University sustainability and systems expert Ken Doust travelled to the Netherlands and Denmark in June to explore strategies used in the management of coastal estuaries and river catchments.
Dr Doust, who is involved in the formation of the National Centre for Flood Research, said the university was particularly interested in potentially utilising the capabilities of the natural environment to mitigate against floods on the Northern Rivers.
The one-month trip to the Netherlands enabled Dr Doust to tap into the country's 21-year flood risk management policy based on making more room for rivers.
He said part of the initiative involved lowering levee equivalents called dikes to allow water to spill over earlier and reduce the peak of rivers during floods.
Journeying higher up the catchments in the east of the Netherlands, Dr Doust assessed how natural systems were being used to slow the pace of floodwaters rushing down stream.
He anticipated the knowledge from the trip would contribute to a "whole catchment approach" to flood preparation by bringing together scientific, practical and indigenous expertise.
Pro vice chancellor engagement Ben Roche said the strategies in the Netherlands were fascinating would contribute to a " better understanding (about) how we can take a total catchment view in mitigating and managing floods."
But Dr Doust said it's too early to say when the strategies implemented in the Netherlands could be tested on the Northern Rivers.
"It's a process of thinking things through and looking at different processes," Dr Doust said.
At this stage, a number of factors need to be addressed before research can get underway.
One of those factors Dr Doust said it was important to determine how upcoming and on-going research at the university could benefit into the centre's operations.
By next year, he said the goal was to have picked priority areas to begin trial abroad initiatives.