Hearing commences to decide city water supply


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19 January 2009

As hearings commence today to consider renewal of the city's water take consent Hamilton City Council says the application process has delivered an extremely positive level of co-operation between Council, Environment Waikato and other major water users – one which they say bodes very well for the future health and sustainable management of the Waikato River.

Hamilton City Council has applied for a total take of 146 000 000 litres of water per day in 2038 to service a projected total population of 233 000. The consent period requested is 35 years.

Hamilton City Council treatment plants manager Tim Harty says "Council's application will be unique since it is the first major municipal water take to be processed under Environment Waikato's new water allocation guidelines - Regional Policy Variation 6 (Water Allocation).

Mr Harty says, "Environment Waikato's changes have been a great positive step forward that will allow the whole region to be more flexible and responsive in the way we manage water demand.

"Council is committed to the ongoing and proactive management of water as a precious resource and its application reflects this. Key to the application is Council's commitment to the ongoing implementation of the Water Conservation and Demand Management plan and its associated program of works. Council's development of a 'stepped-take' approach, is the first of its kind. We've done this to ensure that within the allocation we are granted, at any time the water resource not being utilised by the city can be allocated to other users, at least in the short term."

"This kind of open co-operation has been key to the amount of positive work which has been achieved so far. Council staff have worked closely with Environment Waikato through out the process and other major users and river kaitiaki have been actively involved from an early stage."

Mr Harty points to Council's ongoing work with Tainui and Genesis Energy as examples.

"By working closely with Genesis Energy we were able to develop conditions that not only reflect Council's commitments to Water Conservation but also reflect Genesis Energy's position on flows within the river as one of the major users.

"Council acknowledges the important role Tainui have as kaitiaki of the river. We're committed to proactively working with them around the management of the river as a whole and moving forward the creation of an Iwi Liaison Group has given us a valuable tool to proactively manage any issues arising from the consent," he says.

The hearing of Council's application is being held at Environment Waikato and is expected to last several days this week.

Name: Tim Harty
Designation: Water and Waste Treatment Plants Manager
Tel (Direct): 021 451 104
Name: Christine Watson
Designation: Communication Executive
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6509
Mobile: 021 791 264
Fax (Direct): 07 838 6761
Page reviewed: 19 Jan 2009 12:00am