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Council to investigate water metering

GISBORNE District Council will investigate water metering as part of long-term measures to reduce demand on the city’s water supply.

This is one of several scenarios established by the Future Tairawhiti Committee after a review of infrastructure strategy covering the next 30 years. The review was aligned with the coming 10-year long-term district plan.

Water metering would be in place by year eight of the plan, with the most likely scenario being to first spend $3.9 million on backflow protection devices that would have the capacity to have meters added later at a cost of $2 million.

Meters are one of a number of measures planned to reduce pressure on the city’s water supply.

The council plans to spend an average $100,000 a year until year eight on extra running of the Waipaoa treatment plant, which has historically been switched on at times of water shortage.

This is done to conserve dam water and reduce extraction from rivers when flows are low.

Another $100,000 a year will be spent from years one to three for water supply and demand investigations.

This will include investigations into the merits of private rainwater tanks and reusing grey water. However, no budget is provided for these options and council assistance is expected to be limited.

A decision will also have to be made on additional storage at the Sang Dam at Waingake, but at this stage a new dam is not seen as likely. Instead, spending $1.5 million on restoring in year six is the most likely option.

Beyond the 10-year plan, a sum of $30 million for an additional water source is signalled for years 25 to 30 (2044 to 2049).

Another $150,000 a year would be spent on integrated catchment management plans from years one to seven, to help reduce the environmental effects of stormwater discharges.

The council would review its water and sanitary services for rural townships in years five and six at a cost of $100,000 a year.

Committee members felt the cost of a rural supply at up to $16,000 a year for a household was too high and

the best solution was to focus on rainwater tanks.

The council will also investigate water and sewerage services for Wainui and Makaraka, and has factored the Matokitoki marine aquifer into the strategy.

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