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Further Heretaunga groundwater science investigated

Thursday February 4, 2016

Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee wants to see further investigations undertaken into the costs and benefits of a deep aquifer drilling programme for the Heretaunga Plains.

A report, requested by councillors late last year, presented to yesterday’s meeting outlined five different options for further research of the aquifer, including a deep well drilling programme and the estimated costs and benefits of each option.

The report said while further information is always useful, it comes at a cost and is not necessary at present because existing use of the aquifer is focused on the upper parts of the system. It also said the groundwater model being developed to inform the Heretaunga Plains Plan Change process did not need the extra information and any additional inputs would delay the development of the model. However, the report did say this information could be needed in the future.

Committee meeting members voted to recommend Hawke’s Bay Regional Council instruct staff to develop a cost benefit analysis for a future staged deep well drilling programme in the Heretaunga Plains for consideration for the 2018 Long Term Plan.

The option recommended by staff involves drilling 10 new bores up to 300m deep, acquiring new seismic data and is estimated to cost about $8 million dollars. Funding options and final costs will be reported back to Council in due course.

6 April 2016

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