The well applied rural phrase, "it needs to be measured so that it can be managed," should also apply to water use in Rotorua writes Federated Farmers Rotorua/Taupo provincial president Alan Wills.
There is debate in Rotorua about the future of water management.
The current situation has the population dumping its waste into the Whakarewarewa Forest, but that is no longer tenable as the ground has become over-saturated and a significant amount is finding its way into Lake Rotorua.
Our council is proposing a significant upgrade of the treatment plant and disposing of the still waste water into the lake.
Read more from Federated Farmers here.
Local Iwi have stated the lake is not to be used as a toilet.
This, in fact, has been going on since man arrived into the area.
An unfortunate consequence of water use is that it creates waste water.
I would suggest that most of the people living within the Rotorua city area are blissfully unaware of the cost of treating waste water and the infrastructure required to responsibly dispose of it.
Our farm in Reporoa is on a council-provided water scheme. Our take is restricted and measured at the point of entry.
The new concept of Farm Environment plans will also see us having to account for every litre we use.
The well applied phrase in the rural area is that, "it needs to be measured so that it can be managed" should also apply to water use in Rotorua.
Some numbers that were provided to me by the council four years ago said that with industrial waste aside water use by the general population was a high as 220 litres per man women and child per day.
The relevance of this number is that cities in parts of Australia and Europe where water is considered a precious and limited resource it is as low as 130 litres per person.
It won't completely solve the problem of what to do with waste water, but water metres should be part of the infrastructure of effectively and efficiently managing water use.
They are not the most popular piece of hardware with the public, but something does need to be done.
Water is a public resource and the resources needed to dispose of waste water are huge.
Understanding our water use and what we are creating must be part of the solution.