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Tukituki Water Taskforce meet for the first time

A taskforce set up to look for solutions to water quantity issues in Central Hawke’s Bay met for the first time yesterday in Waipawa.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council set up the taskforce after an initial meeting between the two councils last week, which discussed quantity issues, and potential solutions. The taskforce will look to manage water quantity issues in Central Hawke’s Bay in the short, medium and long term.

A wide range of groups were represented at yesterday’s meeting including the district and regional council, irrigators, local residents, environmental groups and local taiwhenua.

Central Hawke’s Bay representative on the Regional Council Debbie Hewitt, who is chair of the new water taskforce group, says there was a robust discussion about all the issues.

“There is a strong commitment within the taskforce to focus on finding short, medium and long term solutions which will help our community and protect our precious water resource,” says Councillor Hewitt.

She says a survey of Tikokino and Ongaonga residents will be undertaken very soon to better understand their current water supply situation and help ascertain the extent of the issues there.

Alongside this, work is underway to look at how irrigators can work as a collective to maximise water use efficiency and roster and ration water use to mitigate the impact of higher flow triggers.

“The taskforce will meet again in a few weeks’ time to consider what solutions can be put in place now to help this summer and also start building plans for dealing with future water quantity concerns.”

In the longer term, the group will assist the regional council with the co-design of groundwater science programmes in the Ruataniwha Basin.

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