Water meters – a factual report


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13/11/2013 12:00:00 a.m.

The information on the page below is from November 2013 and provides information about water meters. The information in that report is still valid. As at August 2016:

  • Approximately 30 per cent of the water used in Hamilton is already metered. There are around 3,900 waters meters currently in place. All commercial, industrial, rural and non-residential users are metered.
  • The city is currently focused on reducing water loss and managing water use through a leak detection programme and via the Smartwater education programme. Over the last 12 months there has been a significant reduction in water loss. In addition, Hamilton's average daily residential use of water (per person) is only slightly above cities like Tauranga and Auckland which already have residential meters.
  • The city has already begun a $28.7 million capacity upgrade at the city’s water treatment station to be completed by 2020/21. This will future-proof the city’s water supply requirements for the next 20-30 years.  
  • Installing residential meters now would cost between $20-$25 million. This would be in addition to the $28.7m investment at the water treatment station and the ongoing operational and renewal costs to maintain and read residential water meters.  Given the current level of residential water use in Hamilton, there would need to be a very strong financial business case for meters.  It is our assessment that no such business currently case exists. This is consistent with the findings of a report received and approved by Council in December 2012.
  • In summary, given the actions being taken above, and given that installing meters does not currently stack up financially, Hamilton City Council has NO plans in the foreseeable future to install residential water meters.

(For information on the proposal to form a Council-controlled organisation to manage water and wastewater, go to waterstudywaikato.org.nz)


1 November 2013 

Below is a special Community Report being circulated to every Hamilton household.

This Community Report was commissioned to address some of the misinformation that has recently been reported regarding water meters.  The Community Report is a factual representation of where the Council is with regard to water meters in the overall Council planning process.
Key points to note are:

  • the Council has no current plans to introduce water meters
  • water is a scarce resource and there are major decisions to be made over the coming years about how we are to allocate it
  • the Council is two years into a $2.3 million programme to identify and fix leaks from city pipes
  • a major education campaign is about to get underway to make water savings over summer.

Community Report (PDF, 2.53MB)

Several reports have already been commissioned on water demand management and have been considered by the Council.  Here are links to each of them:

Strategy And Policy Report- Managing Demand for Water- 6 December 2012 (PDF, 5.79MB)

Council Water Meter Report 11 October 2011 (PDF, 3.21MB)

Universal Water Metering Report - Thomas Civil and Environmental Consultants - FINAL- June 2011 (PDF, 979KB)

Page reviewed: 13 Nov 2013 12:00am