The long-term effect of the drought on Hawke's Bay's water supply may have to be factored into Hastings District Council's application for a new permit to continue supplying H2O to the public and properties.
The Hastings council will meet today to hear a presentation from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, which is responsible for renewing consents for the region's city and district councils' water supply.
Hastings councillors were worried they would have to spend millions of dollars upgrading the district's water systems to meet regional council standards. Tests suggested water bores in Havelock North and Flaxmere could deplete nearby waterways and the regional council wanted a long-term strategy to show how the Hastings water supply could be managed. It would also have to comply with its regional resource management plan.
The Hastings council's water services manager Brett Chapman said in his report the long-term plan was to move away from using existing water bores in Flaxmere which were "adversely impacting" on Irongate Stream, by reducing waterway flows during summer.
"This coincides with peak summer demand in the network that increase the potential effects at time of low flow.
"In addition, the Brookvale bores that supply the Havelock North zone have stream depletion effects on the Mangateretere Stream."
The permit to use the bores would expire in 2018, so use would be scaled back during the coming years. New bores being developed at Frimley Park and Eastbourne St would ensure future water supply.
There was likely to be costs involved in abandoning bores which were still working, and switching over to new ones. The regional council presentation would provide councillors with an idea on how water would be managed in the future, and how it would impact on Hastings' water, wastewater and stormwater services.
"Some of the water use issues facing the Hastings district will be highlighted as will some information on the 2012/13 drought," Mr Chapman said.