Pauline Doyle, the founder of Guardians of the Aquifer, is strongly against the water bottling consents.

She believes the Hawke's Bay Regional Council have a complete misunderstanding of the Heretaunga aquifer so created the lobby group back in 2012.

Prior to Guardians of the Aquifer she was a member of Dont Frack the Bay but found herself writing a lot opinion pieces and submissions.

"I began to learn a lot about hydravity from the Bayliss Brothers who had been drilling for 70 years. They had practical knowledge and in 2012 Russel Bayliss confirmed they were drilling into a water catchment area."


The group do not go out and march and they are not huge in numbers but Ms Doyle said they often create submissions and speak to the mayors or councillors about their concerns.

In May this year the group created a submission and presented it to council regarding the

"Council needs to carry out an investigation using deep exploratory drilling to get a better understanding of the current capacity, or whether there are deeper aquifers in the Heretaunga aquifer system."

She said they recently discovered that there had been a decline in aquifer levels over the last 20 years but they did not say whether it was caused by over-extraction.

"In 2013 many orchardists in the Twyford area had their irrigation turned off and their trees died off and in early 2015 the public learnt that nine huge water takes had been consented by Regional Council for water bottling companies."

"My understanding is that the water-bottling plant in Elwood Road is extracting water from the same depth as surrounding orchardists and in the event of another drought like 2013 the orchardists could be severely affected."

She said in 2015 the Napier City Council signalled concern in the review of their long term plan regarding the growing competition for water having a negative impact on the council's ability to provide future municipal requirements.

"Regional Council needs to find out if the aquifers are currently over-allocated. They need to introduce a moratorium and establish new rules so that consents for water-bottling companies are only granted on the condition that they drill into a deeper aquifer."