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Spatial Severity - August 2020

Mangatangi Reservoir in Auckland's Hūnua Ranges is the largest of Auckland's nine drinking water storage dams with a storage volume, when full, of approximately 35 billion litres of water. There are four dams or reservoirs in the Hūnua Ranges and five in the Waitākere Ranges. The four Hūnua reservoirs make up 82 percent of Auckland's water storage at 77.1 billion litres. 


Watercare's former chief executive Raveen Jaduram [resigned in August, takes effect October 31] says further rainfall will bump up the total water storage level but its overall impact will depend on where the rain lands. "The rain needs to fall in the Hūnua Ranges since the dams in that area are much larger than the dams in the Waitākere Ranges, and it takes 'significantly more' rainfall to fill them up after a period of dry weather."


It's this spatial variation in rainfall patterns that will govern the effects of the severest of challenges for our generation, Climate Change. It will not affect everyone, equally - certain parts of our landscape will be better off with warmer temperatures and more rainfall; while others will feel the direct wrath of stronger storms, severe drought, forest fires, and rising seas.


Currently, Auckland's reservoirs are filling up, it's going in the right direction - but on the last day of winter the reservoirs are 67% full, the historic average for this time of year is 89%. I'll leave you to judge whether that's enough water - hopefully, Auckland has a rather mild summer.


Geography, digital geography has a role to play in the various outcomes of Climate Change, watch this space as new technologies and methodologies evolve in our ever-changing world.
- Matt Couldrey [geoid - digital geography]

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