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Our Water | Ngā Wai

What's the future?

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Our Water | Ngā Wai

What's your priorities for water infrastructure, water quality and sustaining our water resources into the future?


• ensuring that we have enough water for our people and industries
• keeping water safe and healthy
• managing and treating our wastewater to protect our communities and environment
• improving water quality for swimmable waterways 
• 5 wastewater management options - tell us which one you prefer

Water and its management will be the major challenge for this district over the next 10 years and beyond. This includes making sure we have enough water for our people and industries, keeping water safe and managing our wastewater to protect our communities and environment.

What should we do for the future of our drinking water supply?

Looking ahead we need to consider options for securing our water supply for the city and rural townships.

In the dry summer months, high demand means restrictions for city users and higher costs to top-up water tanks for our rural communities.

We also need to make sure our water is safe for our people, that means investing in treatment and protection from contamination. 

In managing our future water needs, we need to consider whether to:

  • increase supply to Wainui and Makaraka
  • provide access to safe supplies for townships
  • planning for more water storage options
  • and reducing demand through metering
  • investing in UV treatment and backflow protection infrastructure     

What's your priorities for the future of wastewater and stormwater?

We know a massive priority for our community when it comes to healthy people and healthy waterways is how we manage stormwater and wastewater.

We’ve achieved a lot in this space already with renewals of our wastewater pipes and treatment infrastructure. But we can’t achieve it alone. We need homeowners to keep their part of the network up to scratch and people to use toilets and drains properly!

We’ve made good progress identifying and helping fix stormwater and drainage problems on private properties with our DrainWise programme
We've explored our avenues for treating wastewater and getting it out of the bay.

There’s some big challenges ahead and they cost big dollars.
We need to consider, decide and prioritise:

  • the option we take to meet our wastewater treatment conditions by year 2020
  • investing in treatment of Te Karaka wastewater
  • extending the network to Wainui or Makaraka
  • fixing stormwater issues on private property to stop wastewater overflows
  • improving the quality of stormwater entering our waterways before 2025 

How do we ensure water is protected and sustainable for our economy?

The Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is one way we’re investigating options for improving water resources for the health of waterways and storage for vital horticultural uses. Strategies are being worked on and need to be developed into the future to balance available water for industry and maintaining healthy waterways. Fundamental to this is how Council regulates water use, the next steps we should take and what role we should play in investing in solutions.

Read more about the MAR 

What's the next steps towards swimmable waterways for future generations?

A huge milestone and driver towards better water quality and restoring our district's waterways is our Regional Freshwater Plan. The Waipaoa Catchment Plan also includes several long-term restoration projects for improving water quality in significant waterways and better monitoring. These are collaborative projects with iwi, Tairawhiti Environment Centre and landowners.

Catchment plans for Waiapu will be developed this year followed by Motu, Uawa and Waimata. These plans can only be completed with local knowledge, feedback and involvement from our communities. The first step in improving the state of our rivers and streams for swimming is to get your perspective on issues and solutions and how we can work together to restore and maintain healthy waterways. 

Follow the link to our What's the Future Tairāwhiti website and see the ideas  


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