Clearly the most precious commodity in Hawke's Bay at the moment is water.

It is quite incredible really that anything that could go wrong with water has gone wrong across the Bay.

Pick a council and you will see it grappling with some water issue or the other.

The latest is the Napier water shortage earlier this week which had the council warning the city could run out of water.


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There have been many questions raised about why residents were not given more warning about the crisis, but the mayor Bill Dalton insists the council was not caught off guard.

The public view seems to be different, so the council may want to reflect on whether it is connecting with the city's residents on issues like this.

In other water news affecting another Bay council, the Havelock North Water Inquiry's final report on last year's gastro outbreak is due to be released today.

If you remember, the inquiry was split into two stages - the first focused on identifying what happened, what caused the outbreak, and assessing the conduct of those responsible for providing safe drinking water to Havelock North.

The second report will look at steps to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks like this occurring again. The recommendations will almost certainly be that there needs to be a national framework in place.

This is good because the one thing that was clear from the Havelock North situation was that different branches of government did not pass on vital information to each other in the outbreak's early stages.

Throw in the disquiet residents feel about foreign bottling operations taking our water and the multi-million dollar wastewater mess the new Central Hawke's Bay Council inherited from its predecessor and it is clear that all our councils need to work harder at securing and managing our water supplies.

They also need to work together.