Solving flood issues interests scholarship winner

The latest recipient of the Roger Harris (Waihou Valley Scheme) Scholarship was taught at school about the flash flood that tore through Te Aroha in 1985.

Keara Costar, age 19, has lived in the Waihou Valley area her whole life and says she has never experienced such devastation in her lifetime due to the flood protection measures put in place, but she has seen the Waihou River overflow into the surrounding flood plains many times, controlled by the flood schemes.

The University of Waikato Bachelor of Engineering student says she chose to study civil engineering for this reason.

“I’m interested in seeing to what extent flooding issues can be solved in a way that is beneficial to the community and the environment,” says Costar.

“I decided to choose this path because I enjoy problem solving and I want to apply it to an area where I can make a difference. I do remember going on a school trip in year 9 where I learn about the great flood and the land slide down Mt Te Aroha.”

The Roger Harris (Waihou Valley Scheme) Scholarship financially helps civil engineering or resource management students who reside in the Waihou Piako area and have an interest in river and catchment management.

The scholarship is dedicated to the Chief Engineer, Roger Harris, of the Hauraki Catchment Board from 1959 to 1983, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Waihou Valley Scheme.

The scholarship pays up to $6000 towards university course fees and has been awarded by Waikato Regional Council each year since 1994.


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