The soft release last week of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s long-awaited Regional Water Assessment is a welcome, albeit belated development.
In disclosing a predicted 2040 water shortage of 32 million cubic metres, equivalent to the total amount currently used for all municiple supplies, it provides much-needed context for the debate to ensue.
Multiple factors will drive this debate.
The imperative to respond to our changing climate, with the paradox of more droughts and more extreme rainfall events.
The unfortunate demise of the Ruataniwha Dam project, along with $20m of ratepayers’ money, potentially reborn as the Makaroro Storage Scheme under private ownership.
The regulatory imperative to give effect to Te Mana o Te Wai – water for itself first, essential needs of people second and all else last.
The need to meet the Government-imposed December 2024 deadline to make far-reaching decisions on water quality and quantity limits across Hawke’s Bay – HBRC’s ‘Kotahi Plan’.
The imminent release of the long-awaited decision on the TANK Plan, now expected within a week. The polarised positions occupied thus far by the different sides of the water debates across Hawke’s Bay.
It is unsatisfactory that all this information is coming to light so late. Voters would have been much better served by receipt of early & complete information on all these things. These are inter-general decisions in the making, calling for great experience, knowledge and wisdom on the part of our regional leadership. And a well-informed electorate.
Your ever-increasing rates demands deserve nothing less.