Council considers spending more on West Cowra flooding solution

Flooding in parts of West Cowra remains on Cowra Shire Council’s radar with its general committee agreeing to spend another $35,010 looking for solutions to the problem.

The West Cowra watercourse experiences flooding in two locations that are related directly to stormwater collecting in the watercourse.

Problems are experienced in the Lyall – Walker – Hassan Streets area and at the Young – Grenfell Road intersection area where the Mobil Service Station and Lachlan Steel properties are affected during periods of prolonged rainfall when the Lachlan River level is greater than 8 metres.

In 2016 Council received a grant from Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to investigate a project to discharge from a detention basin between Waratah Street and Lyall Street.

The brief to do this work was extended on request from OEH to include modelling the West Cowra Drainage Channel and the effects of the detention basin and associated low flow discharge.

Further modelling is now required to bring the report up to a standard that the department will accept.

Cowra Shire councillor Ray Walsh has questioned why Council was required to spend more when investigations were already carried out by Haskoning Australia Pty Ltd.

“It’s important council continues the obvious alleviation measures,” cr Walsh said.

However he added he found the Haskoning report disappointing and questioned if council should engage the company to conduct further work.

“It gives options without suggesting direction, this is probably why the OEH Department have asked for modelling to be redone.

“In 2016 council received a grant for this study.

“Royal Haskoning had the following to work from, a consultant’s report, the recommendations from a Council Working Party, a study from 2013 and also the experience of the flood events from 2010 and 2012, so they didn’t have any shortage of information.

“The plan needs to meet OEH requirements to access future funding, we still need to progress this, the problems there are not going to lessen.

“What has happened so far with Haskoning has been disappointing, whether or not we can still work with them to do what we need to do now, or whether we need a change of horse, I will leave that to the director to come back to us,” Cr Walsh said.