12 Janaury 2021
Kāwhia has a limited supply of water, and during normal population numbers we have surplus supply to meet the demand of the community. The water for Kāwhia comes from two springs, the North Spring and the South Spring.
Kāwhia’s population grows considerably over holiday periods. The challenge for Council is how to manage the limited resource during the influx of people, while continuing to maintain a potable compliant water supply.
Our approach this year was to put out an early water conservation message and rely on the good will of the community to take small measures to manage their water consumption. Council carried out extensive maintenance of the North Spring in November/December 2020 and standard maintenance on the South Spring. The springs were working at their optimum for the period leading up to Christmas and during the holiday period.
The demand for water in Kāwhia at the peak was double what we could supply, and if we had continued at that rate without any conservation measures we would have almost certainly run out of water. To give context, at certain times of the Christmas period, Kāwhia was consuming up to 30m3 of water an hour. At its lowest level our reservoir reached 40% storage which is approximately 480m3 of water.
On 31 December Council issued another conservation message, asking Kāwhia residents to conserve water immediately. The extra demand was managed successfully, with Kāwhia residents still having water to meet their essential needs and enough storage maintained to meet the needs of the community, e.g. having water available for the Emergency Services.
Kāwhia has an approximate 30% level of unaccounted for water. Unaccounted for water, sometimes referred to as water losses, or non-revenue water in Kāwhia is calculated through a minimum night flow calculation. The calculation is used as Kāwhia does not have residential water meters.
It is very difficult to ascertain whether the unaccounted for water is network related or within private property. We have not had any network leaks reported or identified at this time, and can only assume the network is in good condition as the majority of the reticulation is sitting within sand and a leak can go unnoticed unless it comes to the surface. This makes leak detection extremely difficult for council and residents. We would like to remind residents that if they do notice anything unusual that they suspect could be a leak, to let Council know as soon as possible.
Council has a number of key projects in the waters space, some projects are already underway and some are yet to be completed. A list of these projects can be found under Appendix 1. We will also be including projects into our Long Term Plan that we consult with the community on in April 2021.
Annual Plan projects include:
The government stimulus package delivery plan projects include:
Design and planning projects
We have two contingency projects which are mechanical desludging the waste water treatment oxidation ponds and further sewer main replacements in Ōtorohanga.