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International experts are being called in to help plan for rising groundwater in South Dunedin.
Global environmental specialists Golder Associates and Netherlands-based not-for-profit Deltares have been contracted to study steps being taken to tackle rising groundwater internationally.
The lessons will then be applied to South Dunedin, where the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council are preparing a work programme — subject to community consultation — to manage rising groundwater.
The two councils will share the $36,000 cost of contracting the international organisations for the project, which is expected to take about 10 weeks.
ORC engineering, hazards and science director Dr Gavin Palmer said many cities around the world were facing the issue of rising groundwater, "so much can be learned from experience elsewhere".
"This review will incorporate what protection options have been used elsewhere, what has worked and lessons learnt," he said.
"This information, along with our own science and monitoring, will help us and the community to identify viable options for South Dunedin."
DCC water and waste group manager Laura McElhone said the councils needed a better understanding of how communities elsewhere in the world managed the challenge of rising groundwater, "particularly in areas that have similar social, economic and environmental settings to South Dunedin".
"We are at the beginning of a long-term project to plan for climate change. Once we have a lot of this technical information together, we will be able to discuss next steps with the community."
The initiative comes three years after the DCC commissioned a report by Beca, which in 2014 recommended a $75million network of pumps and wells, to draw groundwater away from South Dunedin over the coming decades.
Pumps would be needed first, perhaps by 2040, and could cost $10million to install, while wells needed by 2090 could cost $65million, initial estimates suggested.