Water: An issue that just keeps on dripping!
The After years of fractious debate Council will be making a final decision for the Kapiti Coast. Why is this important for GWRC? Well they have overall authority on our natural resources.
We can now stop saying “not again!” as our store run low, or "when will they sove this ongoing problem?"
Our supply of water generally runs down in January and February and then we need to conserve. Or, to clarify, people think the district runs out of water as the rivers run low and the take from the Waikanae River has to be limited. So, it becomes an issue for all of us as we struggle to control water usage and collectively fund it. We start to conserve when there’s a formal directive from Council to ban hoses and irrigation devices and then, we make Council public enemy no 1.
Enough for the next 30 years
We already have enough water to supply Kapiti for the next 30 years. The Waikanae bores were commissioned as an alternative source to river water in times of drought. They do this easily and relatively cheaply but have not necessarily found favour with the public, many of whom have complained about the taste of water and its effect on older electrical goods. You might be moved to say ‘tough! It’s only for a few days or weeks a year and why put the district to the expense of another option when we already have one?’
The current series of meetings follows on from the work the Technical Advisory Group, set up by Council and ably headed by Don Hunn. This group has been wading through a decade of water reports with many and varied solutions, and has been asked to come up with a shortlist of options for our water supply for the next 30-50 years.
Let's participate in the debate: it's central to our lives
Water is central to all our lives and I think it’s important for the community to participate in any debate about it. Let’s leave the technology to the experts and focus on the basic principles such as:
- The right to water and at whose expense
- Taking another community’s water at the expense of that community’s future needs
- The right of that community, or not, for some recompense for “their” water being taken
- How much water per person is too much or too little?
- How to stop over use? Are water meters a fair and reasonable way to allocate water?
- How many litres should be ‘free’ before charges are imposed?
- Should we be afraid of privatisation? Would this happen with meters? Or is a dam a much better asset to privatise? How would we stop this? Should we?
- Should the community discuss the greater expense of an un-metered solution when a metered solution could cost less? For example with metres the size and therefore the cost of a dam would be less.
- What are the environmental issues? How high up the scale of importance should those be?
- Conservation! Whose responsibility is it?
31 technical solutions: which 4 get in-depth consideration?
The Technical Advisory has reviewed about 39 different solutions and pruned them down to 31. Council needs to consider about four in-depth. We want to hear from you about the principles and values that should be applied to any technical solution.
KCDC has almost completed its investigations, with a decision expected in August. GWRC will play a part in any final decision as it will be responsible for granting the resource consent.
Perhaps this issue will now stop dripping
More on water here: annchap/content/water-storage