Water Supply Project
The River Recharge with Groundwater project was approved by independent commissioners in September 2013.
Along with conservation measures including water meters, it is designed to secure the district's water supply needs for 50 years. The long term plan for a dam on land bought in September 2012 behind Nikau Valley would extend this to 100 years.
The scheme allows Council to increase the amount of water it takes from Waikanae River by 'recharging' it with groundwater downstream of the water treatment plant. This will only happen during very dry summers.
Fresh river water is taken from the river above the water treatment plant, treated and piped through the reticulation system. If the river level is too low to take as much as we need, Council can replace the amount taken for our water supply to maintain the natural flow.
Once fully operational there should be no need to supplement drinking water with groundwater in times of drought.
Greater Wellington Regional Council gave the River Recharge with Groundwater application a 35-year resource consent - the most allowed under the Resource Management Act.
River Recharge with Groundwater is the outcome of a Water Supply Project set up in 2009 that explored 41 options to boost the district's water supply.
An important benefit is that River Recharge is a staged development that means costs can be spread over a longer period than, for example, a dam that would have to be built to full capacity and paid for in one hit.
Stage 1 construction and an associated upgrade of the water treatment plant will start in 2013/14 and is expected to be operational in 2015.
To see how the river recharge scheme will work, go here.
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River Recharge Scheme
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To contact the Water Supply Project team, email firstname.lastname@example.org