Water quality top priority as Council selects shortlist
The quality of drinking water is paramount as Council moves towards a decision on a long-term water supply solution for the district by June, Mayor Jenny Rowan says.
“Council has made significant progress on the five-year water supply project, which aims to secure additional supply for the Waikanae/Paraparaumu/Raumati catchment,” Ms Rowan said after Council today unanimously confirmed a shortlist of possible solutions.
The shortlist consists of six possible solutions, or combinations thereof, within the Waikanae/Paraparaumu/Raumati catchment and includes:
• Lower Maungakotukutuku Dam
• Kapakapanui Dam
• Ngatiawa Dam
• Aquifer Storage and Recovery
• Extended Borefield and Storage
• Groundwater River Recharge
The six options would now be investigated further but whatever option was finally chosen would to a large degree depend on whether it could provide high quality water.
“The community has told us the quality of the water is its prime concern and we have taken this on board,” Ms Rowan said. Other major considerations, based on the community’s views, are security of supply, cost of construction and operational cost. “We will have conceptual designs for all six options which will allow us to make meaningful comparisons.”
The chair of the Technical Advisory Group of expert community volunteers, Don Hunn, said all six shortlisted options would be capable of supplying high quality water. “Any option that falls short of the district’s aspirations in terms of water quality is unlikely to be chosen,” Mr Hunn said.
Ms Rowan said while Council was favouring the shortlist of in-catchment solutions, Council had also decided to ask local communities and tangata whenua whether out-of-catchment solutions, such as a pipeline from the Otaki River, should also be considered.
“The water supply question is of such importance that we have to consider all possible solutions the community can support,” Ms Rowan said. “We need to be able to prove that we have investigated all possible options if we want to be successful in gaining resource consent for whatever solution we finally choose.”
As part of the Annual Plan process, Council would also be finalising a Water Conservation Plan that will outline measures to help achieve the Council’s 400 litres/person/day over the next five years.
“Reducing the amount of water we use is an essential element of the district’s water strategy developed in 2003 and we’re urging residents to use water sensibly. The goal is to reduce water use to a peak target of 400 litres per person per day. “In the crucial Waikanae / Paraparaumu / Raumati catchment, where additional supply is required, the peak use in 2008/09 summer was around 525 litres per person per day in Paraparaumu/Raumati and around 755 litres per person per day in Waikanae,” Ms Rowan said.
Education, financial incentives, technical innovation and a review of the water supply bylaw were areas that were addressed as part of the Water Conservation Plan which would be discussed with the wider community as part of the Annual Plan process. Better monitoring of water flows and data collection on consumption was also high on the agenda.