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Water Quantity up for discussion in Central Hawke’s Bay

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Water Quantity in Central Hawke’s Bay will be up for discussion later this month at a public information evening.

Hawke’s Bay Regional and Central Hawke’s Bay District Councils are aware of the water quantity concerns in Central Hawke’s Bay, and have implemented a number of initiatives to work towards developing short, medium and long-term solutions.

The public information evening is one of the initiatives, aimed at providing more information around the issues and possible solutions, at the same time as giving the public an opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
The meeting is being held on Tuesday 27 November from 5-7pm at the Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatre in Waipawa. It will chaired by Central Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor Debbie Hewitt and include presentations from Regional Council science and regulation staff, as well as Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker, followed by a panel discussion when the public can ask questions.

Meanwhile, the Tukituki Water Taskforce set up to look at short, medium and long-term solutions to water quantity issues has been meeting regularly. It includes Regional and District Council staff, irrigators, tangata whenua, local residents and environmental groups. An update on the work of the Taskforce will be given at the public information evening.

Tikokino and OngaOnga residents are being surveyed to give the Regional and District Councils a better understanding of the community’s current water supply situation and water quantity issues. Some in the community have raised concerns about running out of domestic water in the dry summer months. The councils want to get a fuller picture of the concerns to help inform the assistance provided by the two councils.

The Regional Council also has a programme of science underway, which includes reviewing the groundwater monitoring network to re-develop the Ruataniwha Groundwater Model, investigating the possibility of managed aquifer recharge, and plans for an electro-magnetic aerial survey of the aquifer geology, which will give the Regional Council the ability to manage the water takes and their impacts with far greater precision and certainty.

The eight Tranche 2 water permit applications remain on hold waiting for the applicants to have a report prepared on the impact of these takes and on how the effects of taking this water are to be mitigated (particularly through offsetting during low flow periods). Until this information is provided no decision on notification will be made. There is no expectation that these applications will be resolved and consents issued for this irrigation season.

13 November 2018

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