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Council shifts water focus to resource consent

Carterton District Council will put a stop to all work related to the development and implementation of an alternative water source.

Instead, it will renew its resource consent for the Kaipatangata Water Treatment Plant and focus on its maintenance and renewal programme.

By pausing the project, there will be a financial saving of more than one hundred thousand dollars in capital this financial year, a recent report to council states.

Councillors will meet today to decide whether those savings will be carried forward to help fund the resource consent renewal due over the next two years.

Currently, water for the Carterton water supply is taken from two sources: a surface water supply from the Kaipaitangata Stream to the west of Carterton; and a groundwater supply from three bores located on Frederick St and Lincoln Rd in Carterton.

The demand on this water supply is expected to increase by about 25 per cent between 2020 and 2043

In August 2021, Carterton councillors voted to bring an analysis of alternative water source options forward from the 2024/25 budget to the 2021-22 year.

The objective of the study was to develop a robust water supply resilience strategy for Carterton that allowed for growth and seasonal fluctuations in water availability.

About $287k of funding for the options analysis was put aside at the time.

In the report to councillors, it is stated that, according to the investigation, under the current conditions “we have sufficient water supply for future demand [2043]”.

The report also states there are viable options for an alternative water source, should demand exceed supply.

Water source options identified in the investigation were: surface water take, wells connected to surface water take, groundwater take, and connecting to a neighbouring water supply.

Water storage options were also discussed in the full report, as were water management options.

“We propose to pause all work related to the development and implementation of an alternative water source,” the report stated.

“If our macro environment changes and it is determined that we need an alternative source, the options in the report can be reviewed and progressed accordingly.

“Even though we have identified that we have sufficient water supply for the anticipated demand in the current macro environment, it is critical that we ensure the security of our current supply and infrastructure.”

By pausing the project, there will be a financial saving of $111,774 in capital this financial year.

“It is recommended that the saving be carried forward to help fund the resource consent renewal due over the next two years,” the report stated.

“There is a further financial benefit achieved with the removal of the alternative water source implementation project in 2027/28 of the Long-Term Plan.

“Pausing this project will result in a reduction in forecast capital expenditure of $8.75m.”

– NZLDR

    Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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