I hereby give notice that an extraordinary meeting of the Governing Body will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 21 October 2021

10.00 am

This meeting will be held remotely and can be viewed on the Auckland Council website
https://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/

 

 

Tira Kāwana / Governing Body

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Mayor

Hon Phil Goff, CNZM, JP

 

Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor Cr Bill Cashmore

 

Councillors

Cr Josephine Bartley

Cr Richard Hills

 

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

Cr Tracy Mulholland

 

Cr Fa’anana Efeso Collins

Cr Daniel Newman, JP

 

Cr Pippa Coom

Cr Greg Sayers

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr Desley Simpson, JP

 

Cr Angela Dalton

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Chris Darby

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Alf Filipaina

Cr John Watson

 

Cr Christine Fletcher, QSO

Cr Paul Young

 

Cr Shane Henderson

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

 

Sarndra O'Toole

Kaiarataki Kapa Tohutohu Mana Whakahaere / Team Leader Governance Advisors

 

19 October 2021

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 890 8152

Email: sarndra.otoole@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


Governing Body

21 October 2021

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS            PAGE

 

8          Removal of Water Use Restrictions                   5

 


Governing Body

21 October 2021

 

 

Removal of Water Use Restrictions

File No.: CP2021/15658

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To consider the advice of Watercare Services Limited and recommendation by the Watercare Board, to remove the water use restrictions imposed on customers connected to Watercare’s metropolitan system in May, October and December 2020.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       Auckland experienced the most severe summer drought in the region’s history over the summer of 2019/20.  In May 2020, in response to water storage lake levels falling to chronic lows, the Emergency Committee of Auckland Council resolved to implement mandatory stage one water restrictions on all users of the metropolitan water supply.

3.       As a result of reduced consumption, increased supply and the rains of the winter season, the Governing Body adjusted these restrictions in September and November 2020.

4.       Aucklanders have saved 20 billion litres of water since the restrictions began in May 2020.  At the same time, Watercare will have increased the supply of water by 104 million litres per day (by the first quarter of 2022).  At the time of writing, the water storage lakes had just exceeded 92% full which is above the historic average for this time of year.

5.       The decisions to place water restrictions were made under the Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015.  While Watercare is the drinking water supplier in Auckland and manages the water storage lakes, the bylaw requires the council to make a decision to impose mandatory water restrictions. It cannot delegate this duty to Watercare.

6.       Accordingly, the Board of Watercare are recommending to the Governing Body that water restrictions can be removed as they consider there is no longer a risk to the adequate supply of drinking water to Auckland metropolitan customers.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Governing Body:

a)      note the previous decisions of the Emergency Committee and Governing Body on 07 May 2020, 24 September 2020 and 26 November 2020 imposing water use restrictions on customers connected to Watercare’s metropolitan system

b)      receive Watercare’s report entitled “Lifting Stage 1 Outdoor Water Use Restrictions” (Attachment A of the agenda report)

c)       note the work undertaken to reduce consumption and increase the supply of water that has occurred since May 2020, including:

i)       increasing water supply by 104 million litres per day (by the first quarter of 2022);

ii)       maximising use of river and aquifer sources during the winter;

iii)      finding and fixing leaks in the metropolitan system;

iv)      smart meter programme for commercial customers;

v)      non-potable water supply for construction use;

vi)      reinstatement of a water bore at Eden Park;

vii)     water efficiency expo for commercial customers

d)      note that water restrictions have resulted in over 20 billion litres of water being saved since May 2020

e)      agree that it is satisfied, based on advice from Watercare contained in Attachment A of the agenda report, that there is no longer a risk to the adequate supply of drinking water to Auckland metropolitan customers, at this point in time, leading into the summer 2021/22 season

f)       agree to remove all restrictions on water use imposed under clause 12(1) of the Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015 from 23 October 2021, as recommended by the Watercare Board

g)      note that Watercare, under the Health Act 1956 and the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007, will not allow the use of fire hydrants for outdoor construction

h)      agree that Watercare will continue with a communication and engagement campaign focussed on water efficiency and the careful use of water over the summer

i)        delegate the authority to make decisions under clause 12 of the Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015 to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Watercare Liaison Councillor and a member of the Independent Māori Statutory Board over the summer recess period from 18 December 2021 to 1 February 2022, should restrictions become necessary

j)        note that Watercare has discussed the removal of water use restrictions with key inter-regional partners including Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council, Waikato Tainui, and the Waikato River Authority

 

Horopaki

Context

7.       Auckland has experienced almost three years of drier than normal weather, including the most severe summer drought in the region’s history over the summer of 2019/20.  In response to this, on 7 May 2020, the Emergency Committee of Auckland Council noted that the ability for Watercare to maintain an adequate supply of drinking water to the Auckland metropolitan system was at risk due to the 2019/2020 drought. The committee resolved to implement mandatory stage one water restrictions (EME/2020/52). The committee agreed that the water use restrictions will apply until Auckland Council is satisfied, based on advice from Watercare, that there is no longer a risk to the adequate supply of drinking water to Auckland metropolitan customers.

8.       On 24 September 2020 the Governing Body resolved to adjust water restrictions, specifically removing some of the restrictions applied to commercial and non-residential water users in May 2020 (GB/2020/101 and GB/2020/102). These adjustments came into force from 12 October 2020.

9.       On 26 November 2020 the Government Body further removed some restrictions for residential water users, in particular that residential water users could use an outdoor hose only if handheld and with a trigger nozzle attached (GB/2020/126).  Unattended water devices such as sprinklers were still not permitted.

10.     The combination of the September and November decisions are currently in force across Auckland.

11.     The Board of Watercare have considered whether or not these restrictions are still required.  Based on the advice of Watercare staff in the attached report, it is their recommendation to Governing Body that all restrictions on the use of water supplied to customers connected to Watercare’s metropolitan system under clause 12(1) of the Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015, in accordance with Watercare’s Auckland Metropolitan Drought Management Plan, can be removed. This is on the basis that the Board of Watercare advises that that there is no longer a risk to the adequate supply of drinking water to Auckland metropolitan customers.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

12.     Watercare’s report at Attachment A provides the analysis and options considered by the Board.  This cover report is not intended to repeat this information, rather to cover a few matters in more detail as is relevant to the Governing Body of Auckland Council.

Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015

13.     The decisions of the Emergency Committee and Governing Body to impose restrictions on the use of water were made under the Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015.  While Watercare is the drinking water supplier in Auckland and manages the water storage lakes, the bylaw requires the council to make a decision to impose mandatory water restrictions. It cannot delegate this duty to Watercare. 

14.     The imposition of restrictions is specifically provided for in clause 12 of the bylaw in circumstances where the council considers that its ability to maintain an adequate supply of drinking water is or may be at risk. If the Council considers that there is no longer a risk to its ability to maintain an adequate supply of drinking water, then it is appropriate for those restrictions to be removed.

15.     It is noted that Watercare has the discretion to provide access to fire hydrants (via stand pipes) under the Health Act 1956 and the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007.  When outdoor water use restrictions came in, Watercare separately updated its standpipe policy and suspended all access to fire hydrants by construction customers.  Watercare will continue to keep this ban in place even if restrictions placed under the Bylaw are removed.

Auckland Metropolitan Drought Management Plan

16.     The Auckland Metropolitan Drought Management Plan is prepared and managed by Watercare.  It defines broad drought response ‘trigger’ levels at which there is a need to act to reduce water consumption and increase supply.

17.     Figure 1 in Watercare’s report at Attachment A shows these drought trigger levels with three modelled scenarios of water supply interventions across the coming summer period.  The report concludes that, under a range of scenarios, it is unlikely that water use restrictions will be required over summer.

Actions undertaken since May 2020 and consumption levels

18.     Watercare’s report identify a number of actions undertaken since May 2020 to reduce water consumption and increase water supply in Auckland.  These include:

·    Increasing water supply;

·    Maximising use of river and aquifer sources during the winter;

·    Finding and fixing leaks in the metropolitan system;

·    Smart meter programme for commercial customers;

·    Non-potable water supply for construction use in conjunction with Healthy Waters;

·    Reinstatement of a water bore at Eden Park;

·    Water efficiency expo for commercial customers.

19.     Auckland Council worked with Watercare to identify, for the first time, long-term potable water demand targets out to 2050.  The Environment and Climate Change Committee approved these targets in April 2021 [ECC/2021/19].  While these are not directly related to the drought actions, it will require behaviour change by consumers and continuous actions by Watercare to achieve.

20.     The graph at Attachment B provides a comparison of total potable water consumption for the years 2019/20, 2020/21 and the first few months of 2021/22.

 

Overall recommendation

21.     The Watercare Board have considered Watercare staff advice and recommend that the Governing Body remove water use restrictions from 23 October 2021.  The reasoning is set out in the Watercare report at Attachment A and includes analysis of weather patterns, the increased supply of 104 million litres a day (by the first quarter of 2022), and demand-side interventions such as leak detection and fixing, smart-meter installation and communication campaigns.

22.     It is also recommended that Watercare’s continued focus is on communicating with Aucklanders on the need to be water efficient, including the possibility of restrictions if demand increases above target levels for a sustained period and storage lake volumes fall more quickly than expected.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

23.     Climate change has contributed to the summer drought of 2019/20.  Weather patterns are changing and are anticipated to change, including the pattern and intensity of rainfall, heat and cold.  This is likely to have an impact on our various water supplies and Watercare has started to recognise this in their current asset management plan.  For each water source – for example, Cosseys Dam – Watercare has factored in the likely impact of climate change on the yield (volume of water the source can supply). This helps to inform how much water is needed to meet the needs of Auckland as the region grows over time.

24.     There is further work required to more fully understand the implications of climate change on supply sources and Watercare is updating their Integrated Source Management Model accordingly.  It is critical that this model reflects climate reality and future given it is used to support decision-making around water supply, resiliency, and infrastructure investment.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

25.     As noted above, the decisions of the Emergency Committee and Governing Body to impose restrictions on the use of water were made under the Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015.  While Watercare is the drinking water supplier in Auckland and manages the water storage lakes, the bylaw requires the council to make a decision to impose mandatory water restrictions. It cannot delegate this duty to Watercare. 

26.     The imposition of restrictions is specifically provided for in clause 12 of the bylaw and can be similarly removed once the risk to the drinking water supply is over.  Auckland Council as a user of water reduced its use considerably over the past 17 months and has embedded some of these efficiencies permanently in its operations.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

27.     Local Boards have not been consulted on the proposed removal of water use restrictions.  However, as leaders in their communities, they play an important role in supporting efforts to reduce unnecessary consumption and help communities save water.  Even if the restrictions are removed, there will still be a need to support the communications campaign around water efficiency over summer.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

28.     Watercare holds relationships and regular hui with iwi in both Tāmaki Makaurau and Waikato.  Iwi/Māori groups related to the Waikato awa, including Waikato-Tainui and the Waikato River Authority, are aware of the recommendations and the timing for implementation.

29.     The Independent Māori Statutory Board was also advised of the recommendations.  Any response received will be provided at the Committee meeting.

30.     The mauri and abundance of wai is of critical importance to all iwi and Māori and this is consistently and clearly articulated to both council and Watercare.  The concept of Te Mana o te Wai (and the Tāmaki Makaurau context of Te Mauri o te Wai) is now embedded in legislation and will drive the way both council and Watercare regulate, manage, use and plan for water in the future.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

31.     The decision to remove water use restrictions does not, in itself, have any direct financial impact on council.  Auckland Council is investing at record levels to ensure the city’s future water needs are met, with $224 million of additional expenditure approved in the Emergency Budget and a record $10 billion of new investment in Watercare over the next 10 years.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

32.     The Watercare report at Attachment A outlines the risks and mitigations related to the removal of water use restrictions.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

33.     If the Governing Body agrees to remove the restrictions then there will be communication to Aucklanders about that decision as well as a wider communications campaign over the summer months around water efficiency.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Report to Watercare Board recommending the removal of water restrictions October 2021

11

b

Water demand comparison since 2019 against Auckland drought standards

23

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Megan Tyler - Chief of Strategy

Authoriser

Jim Stabback - Chief Executive

 


Governing Body

21 October 2021

 

 

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21 October 2021

 

 

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