Creating a sustainable water supply for Horowhenua’s future

Published on 08 January 2018

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Horowhenua District Council’s Chief Executive, David Clapperton, is thanking the community for their efforts in conserving water.

“Council has been able to manage water supplies to avoid critical shortages during the hot, dry summer Horowhenua is experiencing. Our community has responded admirably to Council’s calls to conserve water,” he said.

Water is a critical resource, and making sure our communities have sufficient and safe drinking water is one of Council’s core responsibilities.

”We encourage everyone to keep up the good work as we can expect more dry weather in the coming weeks.”

The dry conditions and associated water restrictions in Horowhenua, and across much of New Zealand, have drawn public attention to the issue of water supply.

This public interest, along with the development of Council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2038, opens an opportunity for Council and the community to work together to consider options for ensuring the future sustainability of our water supply.

“One point that is already clear is that continuing with the status quo is not an option for water supply. Horowhenua is growing; our District’s economy is expanding, with gross domestic product increasing by 4.5% in the year to September 2017, and our population is growing with it.”

Statistics New Zealand estimates show that Horowhenua’s population grew by 1.9% in the year to June 2017, compared with an average of 0.4% per year between 2006 and 2016.

“We expect this growth to continue and so need to consider plans for a sustainable water supply that will meet the needs of our District’s current and future populations.”

Following public pre-consultation on the Long Term Plan 2018-2038, Council is exploring three broad approaches to water sustainability.

The first option is to use the current system, but investigate the supply network for efficiency, using tools such as leak detection to reduce water loss. In the long term, this option could also include introducing household water meters. The second option is to investigate additional water sources, most likely groundwater. The third option is to increase water storage.

“This is an important conversation we need to have together, as a community. Council will be consulting on the Long Term Plan 2018-2038 in February and March this year. I urge you all to have your say in shaping water services fit for a great future,” Mr Clapperton said.