We have “nailed it” says Mayor
The decision by independent commissioners to approve a resource consent application for the Waikanae River Recharge Project is a major breakthrough, says Kāpiti Mayor Jenny Rowan.
"The need to secure a long term water supply solution is the biggest issue on the Coast and we have just nailed it. This is a hugely historic moment.
"We now have a way forward. Not only does the decision open the door to a 50-year water supply solution, we now have a 100-year supply solution when we include a future dam.
"This is a big win for current residents, future residents, the on-going development of the coast, and the environment."
Late last year Council lodged a resource consent application with the Wellington Regional Council to increase its current daily water take from the Waikanae River from 23,000 to 30,700 cubic metres per day. The application also sought to use borewater to supplement the river flow in times of drought.
A panel of independent commissioners was established and began hearing submissions on the application in June this year.
The commissioners today found in favour of Council's resource consent application and agreed to a 35 year term.
Mayor Rowan said Council was just as keen as everyone else to ensure the environment is preserved. "One of the major attractions of the river recharge scheme is the fact it is sustainable. This is a big plus. We would not want to do anything that would harm our special environment on the coast.
"It also makes economic sense as it builds on money previous Councils have already spent on the borefield and the scheme can be expanded in stages as demand increases. This is a big advantage."
Council staff and consultants were now looking over the details of the conditions. "On an initial read the conditions look very workable and sensible," said Chief Executive Pat Dougherty. "We were in close touch with Greater Wellington staff during the hearing process seeking common ground and agreement, so many of the potential conditions were known to us.
"I share the Mayor's view that approval by the commissioners is a very big moment and follows considerable debate and a great deal of very good work by staff and consultants."