KIA ORA FROM MAYOR ALEX
Water – from one extreme to the other over the past few weeks! Thank you to the nearly 200 of you that came to our Summer Water Reliability meeting. From the diversity of community members, to the level of emotion, to the genuine interest in understanding the science and rules it is clear that this is a pivotal issue for us as a district. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) offered great insight into the current knowledge and plans for new science and investigation. Our district is in a situation where our social, cultural, environmental and economic needs are converging into a storm over our summer months. And there is no quick fix.
But some short term actions are happening – there is a group of surface water users who have got together and created a water conservation plan for the summer, to spread, share and schedule their water takes to reduce their overall impact collectively. Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is collecting information from the village and rural residences around Ongaonga and Tikokino to ensure we understand their ability to raise water from bores for their individual use, and understand better what support can be given to them. HBRC is implementing new bores in Ongaonga and Tikokino that will give them continuous, real-time data on water levels – allowing us all to understand and react more quickly to issues. HBRC is also leading our CHB Water Taskforce to bring together the issues from a wide variety of stakeholders and focus on community solutions.
As we move forward, I encourage everybody to “look in the mirror” and think about how we all use water responsibly.