Water resources and engineering specialist, Stephen Clark, arrived in Samoa this month to continue the recovery and reconstruction work following Cyclone Evan. Stephen’s role as a water modelling adviser will assist the Samoan Water Authority with flood planning to guide rebuilding and protect infrastructure from future flooding.
With specialist skills in flood vulnerability and more than 20 years’ experience in engineering, Stephen says he has both a personal and professional interest in the work. “This position has the potential to be both challenging and also very rewarding,” he said.
“In my first two weeks I’ve visited three rural water intakes and also conducted a site visit to observe the impact of higher than normal water flows after heavy rain. “We know the Pacific islands are vulnerable, particularly with the overlay of climate change, so it’s great to be part of a larger commitment to climate change and disaster risk reduction.”
Stephen has worked extensively in flood forecasting, preparedness and response, as well as floodplain and waterway management throughout Australia and internationally. He has been the Director of a consultancy providing services to the water, coastal and environmental sectors and was the principal hydraulic modeller in China, on the Yangtze River Flood Warning and Control Project between 2002 and 2005 – a five-year project partly funded by AusAID in China.
Stephen’s deployment follows in the footsteps of engineering specialists Bill Cartan and Peter Bowman, who recently returned to Australia after completing their deployment. During this time the pair assessed more than 45 bridges across Samoa’s two main islands and produced a report that outlines reconstruction and maintenance priorities for Samoa’s bridge infrastructure.
(Australian Civil Corps Newsletter June 2013)