Press Releases

Water Use Change in Check

31 October 2008 - 5.35 pm

A long-term campaign that will ultimately change the way we use water in the Queenstown Lakes District will be considered by the QLDC utilities committee on Tuesday (4 November).

"For the majority of residents in our district, including me, this is a reality check. The way we value and use water is changing," QLDC utilities chairman John Mann said.

At the heart of the change was sustainability, which had the positive flow on effect of cost and resource reduction. It was also closely aligned with the 'clean green' image, a growing expectation of the visitor market.

The committee would be asked to approve the draft Demand Management Plans (DMP) for Queenstown, Arthurs Point, Arrowtown, Glenorchy and Lake Hayes, with DMPs being prepared for all communities, district-wide.

"This will form the basis of significant community consultation that we will capture in our draft 10-year plan, due for release in March, next year," Mr Mann said.

The bottom line was reducing water use. Ignoring the management of water into the future was not an option for any council in the country or for that matter anywhere in the world.

"The council also has some work to do to get its own house in order," Mr Mann said.

Leaks were a major component of water usage in the district, from a combination of council systems and on private properties.

"That work will need to go hand in hand with the change in water use," Mr Mann said.

The Lake Hayes Scheme was a good candidate for WDM, although there was further work to do. Lake Hayes had been a model for demand management due to the fact that for four years demand had outstripped supply.

It came down to high end users and leakage.

"We have undertaken leak detection work there and pretty much cleaned up council leakage. There is still potentially leakage happening on private property and we will be working with that community to manage those issues and water use," Mr Mann said.

All communities would need to face the same issues.

"With the exception of Lake Hayes which will need to be carefully managed this summer again, we will be embarking on an education campaign and a leak detection campaign over the next year before we start implementing further WDM initiatives," Mr Mann said.

A total of $400,000 had been set aside to undertake leak detection work in Queenstown over the coming year.

Eventually initiatives could include; metering (non-charge), commercial volumetric charging, water pressure management and the introduction of water efficient fixtures.

"Obviously education will be key," Mr Mann said.

ENDS

For further information please contact John Mann (021) 338744 and John Porter 03 441 0499.