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New water source officially opens for Tauranga and Western Bay

Water glasses will be brimming in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty when the area’s new water supply, from the Waiāri Stream near Te Puke, officially begins flowing on Wednesday 22 March.
A huge milestone for the area, the ambitious Waiāri Water Supply Scheme introduces a new source of safe, high-quality drinking water for Tauranga and, in time, Western Bay communities. The new source supplements the city’s current water supply, which comes from two spring-fed streams, theTautau and Waiorohi.

Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says completing this project will ensure the area’s water supplies are secure, reliable and able to cater for continued growth.
“The new water treatment plant will mainly service the Pāpāmoa coastal strip/Te Tumu growth areas and will help take the pressure off the water supply in other areas of the city. In the future, it will also provide a backup for Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Te Puke water supply,” she says.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in getting this milestone project over the line. This is a great example of collaboration and shows what we can do when we all work together.”

Western Bay Mayor James Denyer says both councils are working to protect the sub-regional water supply for now and the future.
“This development is a fantastic achievement. The state-of-the-art water treatment facility is essential to futureproof the drinking water supply for our communities,” he says.
“Our district is growing rapidly. This will help ease pressure and ensure our future water supply needs for the Te Puke community and communities in the surrounding area can be sustainably met.”
Roughly translated, ‘Waiāri’ means freezing cold. The spring-fed Waiāri stream was chosen out of ten possible options due to its clear and untouched flow from Otanewainuku through to the Kaituna River and on to Maketu.

The councils are grateful to local iwi for their involvement throughout the project and for their dedication to ensuring the environment and mana of the water is protected and respected. The Waiāri Kaitiaki Advisory Group was set up in 2010 and includes representatives from Tapuika Iwi Authority, Te Kapu o Waitaha, Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketu and Mokopuna o Tia me Hei.

Measures are being taken to keep the Waiāri full of life and improve the habitats it provides for aquatic and birdlife. This includes regular ecological monitoring, which started prior to construction and will continue for the life of the plant.

The timing of the official opening on 22 March coincides with World Water Day and Council’s Water Services Manager Peter Bahrs says this is a good reminder that despite the new supply, we all need to think about water use and establish good long-term water conservation practices.
“We want to thank the community for their ongoing efforts in following the Water Watchers Plan and using water mindfully all year round, especially during such a challenging and unseasonably wet summer,” he says.
“We are often asked why we continue to have water restrictions during periods of rain. The primary reason is that we are taking a long-term view of water conservation for the city, whatever the weather brings. Heavy rainfall also causes extra sediment in streams which makes treating the water a lot harder, so at times, such as during Cyclone Gabrielle, we have to shutdown our treatment plants for a period of time until stream clarity improves.”
Celebrate Waiāri – drink your fill of fun at the Community Open Day
To celebrate the new water supply, Tauranga City Council is inviting the community to a fun whānau open day with something for everyone, including face painting, a sausage sizzle, food trucks, water tasting, and a unique behind-the-scenes look at where our high-quality drinking water comes from.
Free tours of the plant will run regularly throughout the day. Bookings are essential and children aged 12 and over are welcome, with adult supervision.
Find out more and book your free tour
Where and When
25 March 2023
Waiāri Water Treatment Plant
376 Number 1 Road
Te Puke
9am to 3.30pm

Posted: Mar 15, 2023,
Categories: General,


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