Environment Southland has a monitoring network of rain gauges and water level recorders, some of which also record water flow. We monitor river levels so there is readily available information for Southlanders on how changes in water levels could affect their property or their livestock. We use a telemetry system, which is the automatic measurement and transmission of data from our monitoring sites. Information is transmitted through cellphone networks at most sites and more remote site use satellite communications. Important sites have both, as cellphone networks can be overloaded in flood events.
An automated telephone message service is available for up-to-date information on river levels, rainfall and water quality at several sites across Southland. Each site has its own phone number, however all the information can be accessed through the main number, 03 211 5010. A complete list can be found here.
What do the various levels mean?
High river watch - is activated for minor situations, for example, water over some roads.
Flood warning - is activated when our flood protection infrastructure comes under some pressure.
To view live data on water levels and rainfall in a map view, visit our Environmental Data portal.
How do I find out if roads are closed?
During a flood, access to your property is more likely to be affected than your property itself. State Highway road closures are reported on the NZ Transport Agency website: www.nzta.govt.nz
You can also stay up-to-date with mobile notifications from Antenno. For more information on the app, click here https://www.es.govt.nz/about-us/antenno
Catchment sites and flood peak travel times
Catchment specific information on historic flood levels and flood peak travel times can be found here.
The Duty Flood Warning Officer can be contacted for river level and rainfall technical support or to report an outage in our network via the following phone numbers:
During business hours: 03) 211 5115 or freephone 0800 76 88 45
After-hours call: (03) 211 5225 or (03) 211 5244.
Please do not phone these numbers for roading information please see the roading section above.
How can I prepare for a flood?
Find out if your property floods from previous owners, neighbours or Environment Southland, or you can contact our Senior Policy Planner on 0800 76 88 45 for property specific information.
Take note of any flood alleviation work that has been done, as this will also affect the behaviour of rivers near you. This will help you plan for future events, especially knowing when to move stock. Alternatively, district plans from Southland or Gore District Councils or Invercargill City Council will contain maps that identify flood-prone areas.