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Water Strategy On The Cards

Water Strategy On The Cards

A comprehensive water strategy is on the cards for the Wellington region following agreement by local political leaders to work in a collaborative exercise.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde said today that she and the region's mayors had decided to propose to their councils that they work together on what is currently a fragmented approach to water.

Ms Wilde said that she was making the proposal as part of the Council's commitment to working regionally on key issues that impact long-term sustainability.

"Water is so fundamental to our existence that we cannot afford to look after it in a piecemeal way, so I am delighted that all the local councils in the region will be looking at working together on developing this strategy," she said. "The result would see a linking up of a number of issues that have till now been dealt with in silos.

"The Regional Council already has a contractual relationship with the four metropolitan cities which it supplies with bulk water. In addition, we have regulatory responsibility for water surface and groundwater. However, a new strategy would go far beyond that to encompass questions such as home collection, grey-water use and emergency preparedness, through to future sources of bulk water.

"In addition, there are already strong and disparate views in the community on the management of water pricing and the ownership of water. These sorts of issues will be critical in future and require widespread, informed community debate.

"The development of this strategy would not be a quick-fix exercise. The region and its various communities need to get to grips with the possibilities and the risks we face in the future and plan accordingly. Different areas have different issues that are more important to them, and these can be addressed within a wider approach.

"Some local authorities are already taking significant steps towards more prudent water management Kapiti being the most recent with the decision to require water tanks in new dwellings and this is a very welcome trend.

"In the end what I envisage is a multifaceted strategy that will stand the test of time and which communities will support because it deals with water issues in a fair, consistent and prudent way," Fran Wilde said.


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