Water metering on cards

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Consideration of domestic water metering is one of a range of measures Hamilton City Council is looking into as part of managing demand for water in the coming years.

Commercial and industrial water users, which use 40 per cent of the city's water, already pay for their water through metering.

A report to council's Strategy and Policy Committee briefed councillors on the long term water demand issues for the city and outlined approaches to manage future demand, and to defer the need for major capital expenditure for as long as possible.

Hamilton's water demand has been steadily increasing with the continued growth of the city, and funding has been allocated in the 2012-22 10-Year Plan to upgrade water treatment plant to meet demands.

The report follows previous agreement in the 2012-22 10-Year Plan to undertake a range of work across the city, including leak detection and loss management programmes to supplement the Smart Water Use conservation programme already in place in Hamilton, Waikato and Waipa districts.

Councillors noted the long term risk around the city's ability to access water for future growth due to regional water allocation polices.

Despite highlighting the impact of these polices through the recent Regional Policy Statement process, the RPS leaves Hamilton exposed to not being able to supply water for future growth needs.

This aspect of the RPS is likely to be appealed by council and other municipal water users.

Committee chairperson Councillor Maria Westphal says the Waikato River is under immense pressure to supply water for a lot of different reasons and we all need to play our part, act sustainably and take the steps needed to manage this precious resource.

"Council has given a signal that we will be considering water metering for all, as part of a range of measures to manage water demand, availability and security of supply in the long-term."

Council is not considering, nor can it privatise water supply, which is not permitted under the Local Government Act.

- Hamilton News

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