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


Omaha groundwater risks potential for over use

Omaha groundwater risks potential for over use

The ARC will not grant any new groundwater allocations from the Omaha aquifer and will start talks with Omaha’s water users in Rodney to ensure water use stays within a sustainable limit.

The ARC’s Environmental Management Committee meeting on 4 June committed to an action plan that includes community involvement in seeking a solution to ensure the safety of the water supply to all existing users.

“The ARC has a responsibility under the Resource Management Act to safeguard the groundwater supply for existing users,” said ARC Environmental Management Committee chairman, Brian Smith.

There is a finite quantity of water that can be allocated each year, determined by recharge to the aquifer from rainfall. If too much water is taken and the aquifer level lowered, salt water could flow into the aquifer and pollute all of the water source.

The action plan arises from continued monitoring of the aquifer, which has provided information indicating that the current volume of water available each year, 105,000m3, is currently over-allocated by 14%.

“Although the allocations exceed what is available, there are a lot of people who are not using their full allocations, and we need to rationalise this to ensure that the overall allocation ties in with what is actually available,” said Cr Smith.

“We want to talk to water users about what practical approaches can be taken to ensure the amount of water taken stays within the sustainable limit,” added ARC Water Resources Manager, Ken Becker.

“We will need to review existing allocations and to ensure that the most efficient practices for water usage are in place,” said Mr Becker.

“It will be necessary to cease any new allocations to any potential users and we will be talking to the Rodney District Council about the implications for development in the area.”

The Omaha community has long known of concerns about the annual recharge of the aquifer. In the early 1990s, restrictions were imposed on the amount of water allocated to horticultural and market garden users. This led to a reduction in use and a recovery of the aquifer.

Since 1995 the level of rainfall generally has been higher than average and this has resulted in less water being used than allocated. A dry year could see a change in this situation.

Groundwater in the Omaha Flats, Point Wells area is used for domestic purposes (the area is not on reticulated supply), for stock on lifestyle properties, for dairy farms, for horticulture and market gardening and some community type facilities such as a golf course, bowling greens, and public toilets at Omaha.

The amount of water required is divided between 16,000m3/year for domestic and lifestyle properties, 36,000m3/year for dairy farms and 68,000 m3/year for horticulture and other purposes. This total of 120,000m3/year is 14% above ARC’s latest calculations that show that 105,000m3 water is currently available each year.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election