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Waiāri Water Supply Scheme

The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is designed to help meet the future water supply needs of Tauranga and the wider Western Bay of Plenty.

What is the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme?

The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme involves developing a water abstraction facility on the Waiāri Stream, a water treatment plant in No.1 Road, Te Puke, and an underground water pipeline from the plant to Papamoa.

The plant will mainly service the Papamoa coastal strip/Te Tumu growth areas and in time will provide a backup for Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Te Puke water supply.

Construction started in March 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Community updates

Individual parts of the project are progressing well despite a closure for bad weather/high wind recently.

Intake and access road

Work is progressing well on palisade wall and the pavement layers of the access track.

No.1 Road

The next section of pipe pull is scheduled for the end of July, subject to construction progress. This will affect access for some residents for a short period of time, these people have been contacted.

Te Puke Highway

Some work around Te Puke Highway continues - open trenching has started in the laydown by Blackstump Berries, and work at Poplar Lane means one lane traffic at times and speed restrictions are in place. As works continue, speed will remain 50km/hr and we appreciate your consideration for the safety of staff and other drivers when passing works.

Reservoir to reservoir pipeline

Two traffic light system are active on Welcome Bay Road, one near the hairpin corner and another just before Taranaki Lane if you are heading to Welcome Bay. This is so we can do pressure testing on the pipeline and will be in place for 3-4 weeks.

The closure between #1000 and #1020 Welcome Bay Road is now scheduled for August, this is progress and weather dependent. We’ll publish a date here once it’s known.

A sneak peek

Drone footage from project engineers Beca gives you a great idea of the construction of the Waiāri intake facility. Also note the effort that is put into reducing any impact construction has on the environment. This is not professional video, however we thought it provides a good idea of what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’.

Watch the video

See 3D images of the treatment plant and the intake

Traffic Impacts

Ongoing pipeline construction will impact until late 2020. You will see:

  • Stop/Go signals on Welcome Bay Road, 24/7, 500m sections that move with progress of work. Traffic will be slower at peak times, please anticipate delays.
  • The site will be controlled manually during operating hours
  • Reduced speed on Te Puke Highway – 50km when passing works 

We appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvenience this causes in the area. 

To keep up to date, check back in here and sign up for our community newsletter by emailing jennifer.pearson@tauranga.govt.nz

General FAQ's (2mb pdf) Pipeline route (2mb pdf)

Why do we need a new water supply?

Increased demand in the coastal strip

The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will provide for around 35,000 family homes, enabling both infill growth and new greenfield development across the city.

The coastal strip from Mount Maunganui to Papamoa is predicted to be Tauranga’s highest growth area – we’re expecting Papamoa’s population to triple over the next three decades. Te Puke’s population is also expected to grow steadily.

Tauranga currently has two water treatment plants: one at Oropi and one at Joyce Road. These plants provide Tauranga with water, but they won’t be able to provide for the growth in population in our coastal communities.

In the 2017/2018 summer, we introduced water restrictions in Tauranga for the first time in 17 years. This shows that we are nearing the capacity of our current water supply. The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will ensure security of supply as the city and sub-region expands. 

How will you protect the Waiāri Stream?

We’ve been undertaking ecological monitoring since the resource consent was granted in 2010, and will continue to monitor the stream’s chemical and biological health. We’ll also plant alongside the stream to prevent erosion and re-establish shade.

We’ll also carry out regular surveys to ensure the protection of aquatic life, including temperature readings, fish surveys and invertebrate samples.

How will the scheme be funded?

The project costs will be funded in the first instance by an interest-free government Housing Infrastructure Fund loan. We’ll be able to repay the loan once we receive revenue from new houses, development contributions and rates.

Where is the pipeline going?

The water will flow from the plant through around 22 kilometres of underground pipelines. The pipeline will start at 376 No. 1 Road, Te Puke, run down No. 1 Road through Lawrence Oliver Park, across private property and out to the Poplar Lane reservoir.

Underground pipes from there will carry the water along the Te Puke highway and Welcome Bay Road to the eastern reservoir at R942.

What about the local iwi?

Iwi relationships with the river, water quality and quantity, and ecosystem health are important in our plans for the increasing population in the Papamoa East area.

The project recognises the inherent relationship tangata whenua have with the stream by collaborating with iwi through the Waiāri Kaitiaki Advisory Group, which was formed in 2011 to advise on matters relevant to tangata whenua and water conservation.

Will Western Bay of Plenty District Council be using this water for Te Puke and other landowners in the area?

Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have a joint resource consent to abstract water from the Waiāri Stream. Western Bay of Plenty District Council currently gets its water supply from groundwater bores around the district.

At some stage in the future, the council will need to use the waterfrom the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme. The resource consent for the water abstracted from the Waiāri Stream allows for 25 percent to go to the Western Bay of Plenty district.

Last Reviewed: 29/07/2020


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