Saturday, July 13, 2024

Waikato backs freshwater recommendations

Waikato Regional Council says it is moving a step closer to safeguarding sustainable and reliable access to quality freshwater.

Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee has endorsed implementing the recommendations outlined in its water security strategy which supports and provides leadership on regional and local water security issues.

The recommendations include developing a collaborative, multi-agency and regional-scale water security management plan, reviewing the current water allocation system and considering methods to address over allocation.

Environmental Science Manager, Dr Mike Scarsbrook, said water security is a priority issue for the Waikato region.

“Demand for water has increased while supply has decreased, posing a significant risk to future population growth and the achievement of improved environmental outcomes,” he said.

Dr Scarsbrook said the development of the water security management plan will have a pivotal role in identifying roles and responsibilities in addressing these challenges.

“Having a coordinated and regional response to changing water security will enable us to manage water resources more effectively, ensuring there is sufficient supply for both current and future generations.”

Committee chair, Warren Maher said councillors have raised concerns about the security of the region’s freshwater for some time.

“Our regional economy and the wellbeing of our people are dependent on the availability of water, so it’s important we advocate for a plan that involves our communities in the solutions.”

The Water Security Strategy for the Waikato Region | He Rautaki Whakahaumaru Wai can be found on the Waikato Regional Council website here: waikatoregion.govt.nz/water-security-strategy.

The report on implementing recommendations from the strategy presented at the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting held in June can be viewed at waikatoregion.govt.nz/council-meetings/policy.

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