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Greater Wellington to explore Upper Hutt aquifer

Greater Wellington to explore the Upper Hutt aquifer

Greater Wellington plans to investigate the Upper Hutt aquifer and see if it has the potential to help the region meet its future demand for water.

Cr Rex Kirton, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Utility Services Committee, says that the exploration of the Upper Hutt aquifer as a potential water source is one in a range of investigations that Greater Wellington is carrying out to ensure a secure water supply for Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington. Other options include new storage dams and conservation measures.

“Our current water supply modelling shows that we can meet unrestricted demand for around 377,000 people in the region’s four cities. However, we’re creeping pretty close to that threshold now that the population is around 373,000.”

“Once the population goes over 377,000, our existing facilities might not be able to meet demand as reliably as our customers expect, so we need to look at ways of increasing our water supply.”

Greater Wellington’s application for consent to drill bores around Ward Street and McLean Street in early 2007 was notified last week. The proposed drilling and testing will take place over twelve weeks.

“We need to know the quality and quantity of water in the Upper Hutt aquifer. Once we’ve done a thorough analysis of the aquifer as a water source, we’ll compare its potential to that of other options such as building new dams.”

The Upper Hutt aquifer is approximately nine kilometres long and three kilometres wide, extending from Birchville in the north to Taita Gorge in the south. The water is contained in gravel beds up to 50 metres below ground.

The results of this exploration will contribute to a water supply strategy, which is due out in late 2007.

ENDS

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