A Statement from Waikato Regional Council about the water shortages in Whitianga
Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) holds resource consent, that expires in 2025, to take up to 8000 cubic metres of water per day from the Whangamaroro River to supply water to Whitianga. This consent was granted in 2006 and replaced a previous consent that authorised the taking of up to 5450 cubic metres of water per day.
“When applying for the consent, TCDC expected this would provide for foreseeable future needs. The conditions attached to the consent were established based on technical advice provided by TCDC, that was prepared by NIWA and reviewed by Waikato Regional Council scientists. The historical record of the daily volume provided by TCDC indicates that the maximum volume that has been taken is around 6000 cubic metres per day, so there appears to be sufficient capacity for supply within the current consent.
“The consent also includes conditions that require the volume of water taken on a daily basis to be reduced when the river flow falls to specified flow levels. These levels were identified by NIWA as appropriate to protect in stream values. It has been for TCDC to determine how it goes about achieving these reductions when/if they are needed.
“The option is available to TCDC to seek a new consent prior to the existing consent expiring, if it considers that necessary.
“Other options available to TCDC include the provision of additional storage. This was a matter raised by other interested and affected parties when the current consent was processed in 2006. At the time the decision noted that the 19 year consent duration provided sufficient time for TCDC to consider other options to manage pressures on water supply during periods of low flow.
Denis Tegg Waikato Regional Council Representative for Thames Coromandel