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Thames Valley Water

Further to the plethora of press releases emanating from the Castle, we have one this morning relating to Thames Valley Water.

Readers will recall that prompted by Mayor Leach, our water engineers went away and came back with a $10m reduction to the draft TYP in relation to this project. Why it had taken so long for the penny to drop that there was no way that the rate-payers of this District were going to come up with $13m to pay for this upgrade just so that a few farmers could throw more treated water at their pampered animals is beyond understanding. It was ridiculous, unsustainable and totally over the top. This prompting led to some serious soul-searching for the first time, and the consequent reduction.

Of course, previous councils have demanded the same, but only when Leach needed to come up with some serious capital expenditure reductions to match his rate reduction rhetoric did it happen. Bruce Hinson suddenly found that there were alternatives available that led to the massive reduction. What is interesting about the latest announcement is the careful wording surrounding the "investigations" about to take place. We were led to believe during the deliberations that these investigations had already taken place, and that the figure of $3m was based on this new thinking.

What concerns me is the appearance that we are no further ahead than we were at that point, and that the new "investigations" may lead to a substantial upward revision in the now supposedly firm TYP figure.

Be that as it may, the fact is that there is an alternative that appears to have been deliberately ignored by the engineering wonks from day one, or alternatively overlooked for political reasons. This is the option relating to the purchase of water from the new HDC Kerepehi plant. Their current source at Puriri will be superseded with the expiration of the current WRC consent, but the pipes under the river remain, and should be perfectly adequate to meet the Thames Valley requirements. Mayor Tregidga certainly indicated some time ago that they were open to an approach, but there had been none!

Adrian Catran tells me that a separate  communication today from Ben Day indicates that they are again looking at this option - Tally Ho!




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Reader Comments (1)

Using the pipe under the Waihou from Huirau to Puriri to service the T.V./Matatoki area with potable water , as proposed , ignores the lack of available water in the Waihou (RMA) let alone the cost of up-grading the Kerepehi water treatment plant. What is wrong with council staff that they cannot accept that there is adequate, unused, water supplies in this area and a really cheap option is for residents to store and treat the supplied water at their own expense?? As many of them do already! Would they like repeat costs?. The roughly 350 properties would have to pay the interest and capital on the many millions in their rates. The 'experts' ideas on what to do are straightjacketed by qualifications and the gov's wish for potable water, not yet law. For goodness sake 'big' is not better. As the HDC found out, putting in water meters cuts demand by up to a half. But this needs rough filtration to stop the meters from wearing out. All this thinking and knowledge was done in 2000 and un-used by council staff when their most expensive ($12m) option was not supported by the ratepayers. Hiding these costs in a one-district water charge is not on. To make good decisions for themselves the ratepayers in this area need detailed knowledge of the three schemes already in existence in this area. That is the job of council staff and the three Thames Councillors.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter H Wood,

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