There are multiple water issues in Hawke's Bay, connected to health, wealth and governance.
The changes flagged in the Government's Three Waters reform have massive, historic implications for our region.
Central government is proposing that a new entity be created to manage New Zealand's water resources, taking the responsibility off local councils for drinking water, stormwater and sewage ... the Three Waters.
A "small number" of publicly owned multi-regional entities would take over - what they look like and how they would operate is a work in progress.
Three Waters reform is being pitched on the not-so-subtle subtext that the existing management of this resource is poor. Bad, even.
Some councils freely admit this, CHB for instance, has no qualms about acknowledging its water infrastructure is buggered because of historical neglect and deferred maintenance.
It will cost a small fortune to fix. And ratepayers are rightfully worried who will pay.
It's difficult to estimate exactly how much fixing the problem will cost until councils - literally in some cases - start digging into the problem.
Because our councils don't have an accurate idea of what it would cost, politicians are nervous about publicly estimating figures, for fear of being derided if costs blow out, and losing elections.
It could be likened to a plot for a horror movie entitled What Lies Beneath, starring Hawke's Bay's councils.
The temptation of the Three Waters reform is that local government is relieved of directing and producing this horror movie.
Three Waters reform also offers an opportunity for iwi to co-govern water, as per this country's obligations under Te Tiriti.
There is also not a lot of detail circulating about how the new entities would work, but the Government has begun selling the concept to us by first setting out how bad the present situation is.
The intent being, that laying out how bad things are will make relinquishing it more attractive for local-body ratepayers.
As for cost, in Hawke's Bay, numbers like $600 million are being mentioned internally. It's early days.
The Government's latest report estimates $185 billion in the next 30 years. Yep, that bad.
Ratepayers obviously want to know how much of that they have to pay.
Which highlights another hazard floating in the ocean of water politics - what should we be paying for water? Around New Zealand, the charging mechanisms differ for private and commercial use. It needs a unified formula.
Consider what local government could look like if our councils were freed of this millstone and focused on the wellbeing of their communities, using ratepayer and taxpayer funds, without the pressure of building and maintaining water infrastructure.
Having acknowledged that the health system is stuffed and the mode of management is no longer fit-for-purpose, we shouldn't be shy of acknowledging that local government needs an overhaul.
Wairoa mayor Craig Little this week observed Three Waters reform signals the end of local government as we know it. The question is, is that a bad thing?