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

 


Population growth prompts water rethink

24 June 2004

Population growth prompts water rethink

High population growth could see the bulk water supply system for Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington reach capacity years earlier than previously expected. Greater Wellington Regional Council supplies bulk water to the cities from several rivers and the Hutt aquifer.

A report to Greater Wellington’s Utility Services Committee this week noted that the combined population of the four urban areas had increased at the high end of expectations for several years. The rate of population growth is expected to slow, but if it doesn’t the existing water assets might not meet the target level for reliability of supply as early as 2007.

Dick Werry, Chairman of the Utility Services Committee, said this didn’t represent an immediate problem but did signal a need to review options.

“Even with high growth we won’t run out of water in 2007, but the risk of not meeting all demand would rise above the level agreed with the cities. To overcome this we can either build new capacity or do more to reduce water use: we’re considering both possibilities.”

Not having enough water to meet all demands is most likely to happen as a result of a long dry period during summer. The amount of water that can be taken from rivers is severely reduced by a drought, while water use can be 50 percent more than in winter, primarily due to garden watering.

Greater Wellington has budgeted for expansion of its system in the next few years, but also wants to look at a more comprehensive approach to managing demand for water within the current system’s limits, Councillor Werry said.

“It’s a good wake up call for the region to consider the way we manage water. Australian cities have lower levels of per capita water use than we do, through greater emphasis on conservation. We think that approach is worth considering.”

Councillor Werry also emphasised the importance of a co-operative approach with the Greater Wellington’s water supply customers – the four city councils. “New conservation measures will only work if there’s general agreement that they’re worthwhile and appropriate for our region. Providing drinking water is a role we share with city councils, so it makes sense to work together. We’ll achieve much more co-operatively than we can individually.”

Auckland has a co-operative water management strategy and Greater Wellington intends to investigate whether there is support from Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington city councils for a similar initiative here.

Greater Wellington’s sustainable yield modelling shows that it should be able to supply a population of up to 377,000 at current water use levels in all but the most severe droughts (droughts of severity that would only be expected once in 50 years on average). The population was estimated to be 363,400 at 30 June 2003, but had increased by over 10,000 since June 2000. The next population estimate update is expected from Statistics New Zealand in November 2004.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news