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Water a Hot Topic as the Summer Weather Heats Up

water hands

With summer now officially underway and the weather heating up, residents of Central Hawke’s Bay are asked to consider their home water usage, as the District Council moves forward with several projects to upgrade aged water infrastructure.
Although it has not yet been necessary to introduce summer water restrictions, Council’s Waters Team are working to monitor the district’s water usage, while awaiting advice from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in relation to river levels.
The Regional Council monitor environmental water levels across the region and set the amount of water Councils can draw from rivers and other water sources, accordingly.
“Water accessibility is a key priority for the Council and we are prepared to act quickly in order to safeguard water for everyone for months to come,” says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council. 
Water has been at the forefront of the conversation in Central Hawke’s Bay in recent years, through the planning and delivery of the $32 million #thebigwaterstory capitol works programme, recognised as a key initiative for the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council in the 2018 – 2028 Long Term Plan which was produced and consulted on with the community in 2018.
In this time, several key flagship projects have seen completion including the build of the Otane Alternate Water Supply, the Takapau Water Treatment Improvement project, the Porangahau Water Treatment Improvement project and the Waipukurau Stormwater Improvements.
Multiple other water improvement projects are underway, including the build of a Second Drinking Water Supply in Waipukurau, a Water Supply Upgrade in Kairakau, a SH2 Bore Upgrade and ongoing Central Hawke’s Bay water renewals. 
Darren de Klerk, Director of Projects and Programmes, says as well as future proofing infrastructure, the upgrades will also mean a reduction in water main breaks that can occur during the warmer months.
“We have seen, and continue to see, a number of water leaks from stress placed on our water network. These leaks are also a symptom of the wider issue, and our recent long-term plan has dedicated significant funding across our water and wastewater networks to replace these aged assets.
Waipawa, Otāne and Waipukurau have seen huge population growth recent years and the projection is telling us there’s still more to come. Upgrading our assets now means we can manage this pressure in the future and deliver effective services to our community.”
Council has recently completed a water main upgrade on Nelson and Reservoir Streets, which is now seeing stormwater upgrades taking place. Further district wide water mains upgrades to reduce leaks and improve service are planned for 2022 as we ramp up our investment in renewing aging assets.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is continuously working to conserve water across the district with leak detection teams working to identify and respond to both private and public leaks. 
“The Council’s Waters team prioritise leaks based on water loss. If you have reported a leak and you notice it has worsened, please contact Council so that the priority can be re-assessed” Ms Davidson advises.
 “We recognise how important water is to our community” says Ms Davidson.
“As a community water supplier, we have an important role in promoting efficient use and minimising waste. This can be accomplished through prudent operational and maintenance practices across our networks and through awareness and education programmes targeting individual users.”
The Council is currently promoting a ‘Saving H2O is the way to go’ message through radio, digital media and local newspapers. The campaign will share tips and tricks offered by Hawke’s Bay residents, promoting water conservation. These every day ideas will demonstrate what local residents can do to prevent water wastage in their own homes.
Tips include turning off the tap while brushing teeth to save six litres of water, saving 1400 litres of water a month by only washing a full load of laundry at any one time, or keeping the pool top on to stop 80% of pool water evaporating. As part of the campaign, the Council will also be providing advice on how the district’s water usage is tracking over the summer period.
For information about water usage in your home, head here.

22 December 2021

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