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Friday
May132011

Matatoki and Thames Valley Water

Legislation concerning water supply is the reason behind TCDC's obligation to provide potable water to the 500 residents connected to the three currently untreated water supplies in the Valley.75% of the water is for rural use - no irrigation, just watering an increasing number of cows as farmers push their stocking limits. Water uptake from the streams is already over the allowable limit, and TCDC is on notice from EW to get its act together. There is no suggestion that farmers should have maximum stocking rates imposed - that sort of loose talk sinks ships, you know!

In other words - there is no choice, and TCDC could not get shot of it even if it wanted to. Implementation of the new water regulations that set standards must be complied with by 2016 at the latest, so millions have to set aside to upgrade the system, either by connecting to Thames, connecting to new sources and somehow treating the product, or the best solution in the view of most who have watched this problem develop - reaching an agreement with Hauraki to take from the Kerepehi plant that reportedly has spare capacity, through an existing line that crosses the river. 

Whichever way it goes, millions are involved, but the latter is by far the cheapest, even if Hauraki charged over the top for the product. Area of benefit charging may come under pressure as the current Council is tending towards 'district' charging of all 'core services' - whatever they are! The funds needed tend to balance the multi-million dollar requirement to upgrade the Tairua-Pauanui system - something that all councillors other than those from the TP Ward have resisted in the past, particularly those representing wards that have been burnt by 'district' charging of waste-water.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (2)

Are the residents of Matatoki, Hikutia, and Puriri water supplies hoping that everyone is going to help them pay the millions of $s that it will cost if the TCDC up-grades their supplies??? The possibility that HDC will suply them through the Huirau
line is most unlikely when HDC cant get enough water for its farmers now. It consistently breaches the resource consent
it has for the Apakura Stream from behind Puriri and there is no more consentable water left from the Waihou River intake
that can be treated at Kerepehi water treatment plant. The 300 or so users of the 3 supplies could quite easily treat and
store water on-site at a fraction of the TCDC cost. There are other streams as yet unused. Staff and T.C.Bd. have consistently avoided consulting with the folk who will be the user-pays group. Why can't they resurect the water committees that were started in Sandra's time on council?

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter H Wood

As usual, Peter is spot on - he has been as close as any elected representative to this situation over the years.
I am sure that the local people could so the job cheaper, and probably better were they given the opportunity. As things stand TCDC has the legal obligation to provide potable water in accordance with the standards set down by Government.
Any locally built and operated system will have to meet the same standards.
I am sure that any direct approach by consumers to enter into such an arrangement would be welcomed by TCDC staff, but they don't appear to have shown any particular inclination in that direction. I could be wrong, but up until now it has been my impression that they are content to let TCDC carry the can, as long as they are not financially imperiled in any way.
As things stand Tairua/Pauanui councilors are going to push like hell for district funding using the Hikutaia/Thames Valley situation as the counter balancing argument. Anything that can be done avoid this is to be encouraged.
Thames councilors appear willing to go along with 'district' charging of all core services - I don't think they have a clue as to the consequential rating effects of this 'cave-in'.

May 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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