Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Franklin can water its way to greater prosperity

Franklin can water its way to greater prosperity

Auckland Regional Council hydrogeologists have great news for vegetable growers around the Pukekohe township and hill, recommending a doubling of water available from the Pukekohe volcanic aquifer (a natural underground reservoir) in new draft ARC water allocation guidelines.

ARC hydrogeologist Zeljko Viljevac has found that more than double the amount of groundwater previously available can now be sustainably allocated from the Pukekohe volcanic aquifer. This is great news for growers as water demand has increased since the 1980s and water from the aquifer was fully allocated under previous guidelines.

“Our improved scientific understanding of the way that the Pukekohe and Kaawa aquifers function means more water will be available and Franklin’s potential for food production is enhanced,” said ARC councillor representing Franklin, Dianne Glenn.

“Our current guidelines for water allocation were intentionally conservative, based on information we had available. The ARC has analysed exactly how the aquifers are being replenished and how much groundwater can be made available to local users,” said Cr Glenn.

“If we had over-allocated these resources, water levels could have dropped and affected people’s access to water and their livelihoods. We are aiming to ensure that water allocation in Franklin is sustainably managed to provide long-term certainty for water users,” said Cr Glenn.

Most of Franklin’s water supplies, for municipal use and horticulture, is taken from two underground aquifers. The Kaawa aquifer covers an extensive area, from Karaka to the Waikato River. Overlying it are the volcanic rock aquifers of Glenbrook, Pukekohe and Bombay.

Information collected on water levels and water use over the last 15 years, funded in part by resource consent holders’ annual charges, has provided the base information for this work. This has enabled ARC to revise management guidelines for the water resources. The major finding is that the Kaawa aquifer is recharged with rainwater mainly through the volcanic cones like Pukekohe hill. Each volcanic cone is a porous pathway for water to get down into the lower aquifer.

Water Resources Scientist Greg Murphy says now that the ARC understands more about the Pukekohe Volcanic Aquifer, it has been divided it into smaller more precise management units. “We needed to know how the Kaawa aquifer was recharged, to make sure it is getting enough water,” said Mr Murphy.

“We have also found that the aquifers are sensitive to climate variation, so we need to continue to keep an eye on water levels, especially now that we are looking to allocate more water.

“It’s more important than ever for water users to meter and report back to the ARC how much they’re using,” added Mr Murphy.

The ARC’s Environmental Management Committee received the Kaawa Aquifer report on 26 November, and asked staff to consult with the community on the draft management guidelines.

ARC staff will be approaching representatives of the water users, Franklin District Council, Environment Waikato, tangata whenua and other interested parties to explain the findings and ask for feedback and input into the new management guidelines. A newsletter explaining the results of this work will also be sent to all resource consent holders.

The aquifers cross the regional council boundaries into the Waikato region and ARC is keen to fully involve Environment Waikato in the future management of the aquifers.

The aquifers of Franklin District are important for both the regional and national economies. The area produces one quarter of the nation’s vegetables, including a large portion that is exported. Irrigation for these crops is supplied from both groundwater and streams. Most of the streams in the area, the Hingaia, Ngakoroa, Whangapouri, Whangamaire, Mauku and Waitangi streams, derive most of their flow from groundwater.

“Now we know more about the water sources, Franklin can move forward with confidence,” said Cr Glenn.

To register your interest in getting more information, phone Enviroline on 0800 80 60 40.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages