Toebes, Kees

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Kees Toebes


Cornelius (Kees) TOEBES 1925 - 1975 (Egypt)


Kees Toebes was a larger-than life Dutchman who arrived in New Zealand in 1951 and had a profound influence on New Zealand hydrology.

From his early days in the North Island Hydraulic Survey, he rose to become the Chief Scientific Hydrologist of the Water & Soil Division (WSD) of the Ministry of Works (MoW) and was responsible for all the hydrological works of the Division.

He was instrumental in setting up programmes to demarcate the hydrological regions of New Zealand and to establish the representative and experiment basins networks. Training was another strong point and he instituted the Handbook of Hydrological Procedures and wrote a two-volume text, Applied Hydrology.

The International Hydrological Decade (IHD) commenced in 1965 and Kees was involved both in New Zealand and overseas; his mana was such that he co-authored an international guidebook, Representative and Experimental Basins. A high point was the IAHS Symposium on the Results of research from representative and experimental basins held in Wellington in 1970. Kees was also heavily involved in many UNESCO working groups.

Kees left the WSD in 1974 to join Tonkin & Taylor, consulting engineers, and his tasks included the development of the Malaysian national hydrological organisation and the Kelantan River basin project. He died at Aswan in Egypt in December 1975 while undertaking an assessment for future work in the Nile Basin, especially in relation to sedimentation issues.

In 1961, Kees guided the formation of the NZ Hydrological Society and was President for 13 years; excellence in hydrological science

He died while on an assignment in Egypt.

Hydrological Achievements[edit]

The formation of the New Zealand Hydrological Society in 1961 (which he served as president for eleven years) was an important achievement in his work, and a major step forward for hydrology in New Zealand. He was also a member of the National Committee for the International Hydrological Decade from its formation in 1964.

In 1966, as a member of the UNESCO-IHD working group Mr Toebes played a great part in preparing and finally editing in 1969, the internationally important Guide for Research in Representative and Experimental Basins.

Reference Material[edit]

Source: [ Anon (1976) OBITUARY, Hydrological Sciences Bulletin, 21:3, 473-473, DOI: 10.1080/02626667609491657]

Source: Lindsay Rowe, 2001 A hydrological gallery: people, events and places, New Zealand Hydrological Society PDF

Major Publications[edit]