Gore won’t be caught out by a dry summer
The Gore District Council is preparing for another hot, dry summer by implementing a Water Taskforce.
Council chief executive Steve Parry said the council wanted to be prepared for the eventuality of water shortages this year, instead of reacting to circumstances as they occurred, like it did last summer.
‘‘Last year was the summer of all summers. We had level four water restrictions, water tankers in Mataura supplying drinking water for people, pumps breaking down, a drought declared and then a downfall of rain that wiped out a bridge.
‘‘When it got to level four restrictions and hosing was completely banned, that’s when people became disappointed, and disillusioned and concerned.
‘‘So this year we’ve got a group of officers assembled and we’re looking at initiatives that we could advance so that we can get on top of the water issue this summer.’’
The first initiative, announced on Thursday, was a proposal to make installation of rainwater tanks for all new builds in Gore and Mataura compulsory, and green infrastructure to reduce stormwater run-off into the council network.
Those initiatives will go out for public consultation.
Parry said other initiatives would be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the council on October 30.
‘‘It will be just about water, which is why we have gone outside the usual council meeting schedule.
‘‘We’ll be reporting on the drilling for the new water source, which is looking quite promising.
‘‘We’ve also been looking at the leak detection programme and seeing how that has been progressing.’’
Recalibrating the regime for water restrictions would also be discussed.
In the last five years, the council has imposed restrictions each summer, but the last was the worst.
‘‘It really brought climate change front and centre.
‘‘People talk about it but there’s nothing like actually experiencing something in the flesh to give you a bit of a hurry up, so we’ve choosing to be proactive and front-footing the problem this year.’’
‘‘It really brought climate change front and centre. People talk about it but there’s nothing like actually experiencing something in the flesh to give you a bit of a hurry up.’’ Steve Parry, Gore District Council