If only the Peninsula drainage problem were as simple to solve as Maggie Bartlett would have us believe (“Just clean the pipes”, PP 009).
The fact is that, because of the complete lack of forward planning, the Peninsula drainage issue is just about insoluble, without enormous capital investment and drastic rethinking of the infrastructure requirements.
As it is, who knows when we’ll be out of the financial quagmire (if ever) and able to contemplate the sort of expenditures that will be necessary to preserve the Peninsula as a neighbourhood.
The Woy Woy alluvial flat is barely above sea level now, so what is going to happen if there is any appreciable rise in ocean levels and any increase in storm events over the next couple of decades.
Even if the Peninsula is not completely flooded at the highest tides, drainage gradients will be reduced to zero, so stormwater will have no outlet.
Raising the floor levels of houses is pointless if the houses have no access or if sewer lines, for instance, are to be periodically inundated.
We could bring in some Dutch experts to advise us, but I suspect they will have their hands full with their own drainage problems by then.
Of course, we don’t need community input to a drainage plan: the technical options are quite clear, and inputs by laypersons to a problem they don’t understand are not helpful.
Let the engineers get on with it and tell us frankly what we shall need by, say, 2050 so that we can make up our own minds about how to deal with the crisis to come.
Email, Mar 14
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy