The Hutt River has a long history of flooding. European settlement began in the Hutt Valley around 1840, and although the dangers of flooding delayed widespread settlement, within 40 years the forests which covered the entire floodplain had been cleared to make way for development. For thousands of years these forests had controlled the river alignment, the processes of erosion and sediment transport, and the force of the river in flood. Deforestation upset the natural balances within the river system, resulting in rapid changes in river alignment and flooding became a threat to life and property in the area.
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