Don’t miss the Tukituki meeting this Wednesday the 12th, 7:30pm at the Havelock North Community Center.

I expect folks from the HB Regional Council will tell us not to worry … management of the Tuki is on good hands and its water quality is “not getting worse.” My, what a high bar to set!

Fortunately, we’re promised some real “give and take” with the opportunity for constituents to voice our concerns. So bring your questions! Or ask one of ours.

Here are the questions BayBuzz has about the Tukituki specifically, as well as the broader context of water quality and supply management around the Bay.

Water Quality

1. Is there a national set of surface water quality standards for NZ’s rivers and lakes? If yes, what do they protect against and where can they be found? If no, what standards then do apply in a region like Hawke’s Bay? How rigorous are our standards compared with OECD or other pertinent standards?

2. Do we know whether there are contaminants in our underground waters in Hawke’s Bay? What monitoring of this threat occurs today?

3. Here in Hawke’s Bay, what is the division of responsibility amongst various councils and the District Health Board for protecting our water quality?

4. Explain the procedures followed to monitor water quality in the Tukituki …

a. What effluents or pollutants are measured?
b. Does this include industrial pollutants?
c. Where and how often are samples taken?
d. Why are measurements no longer taken directly below the discharge points from CHB treatment ponds into the Tukituki?
e. How can the public access monitoring information?

5. How many times in the latest available reporting periods has the CHB District violated its resource consent governing allowable discharges into the Tukituki? How are such violations discovered?

6. Is there readily available to the public, a published list of current pollutant levels in the Tukituki and other HB rivers, compared to pertinent existing standards? If not, why not?

7. What do the most recent water quality measurements tell us about the quality of Tukituki water today? Specifically, which pollutants are most problematic? And which are comfortably within relevant standards?

8. What are the greatest threats to Tukituki water quality today and looking forward? Do we have the necessary monitoring, regulatory and enforcement programs in place to protect against these threats?

9. What are the three most important steps that can be taken to improve water quality in the Tukituki? Are we taking those steps today? Could we intensify or accelerate these efforts?

Water Supply

1. Now, what about water supply? Is anyone responsible for measuring water use by residential, industrial/business, or farming/agricultural/horticultural users?

2. Who and what factors determine the limits or allotments on the amount of water various users can take from rivers and streams? How are these limits enforced?

3. What percentage of available water from the Tukituki is presently allocated? Does this vary at different portions of the river?

4. Are there any limits on the amount of water various users can draw from underground aquifers? If so, who and what determines the limits and how are they enforced?

5. Seasonal variations aside, are diminished water flows in rivers like the Tukituki not a good indicator that aquifers might be excessively depleted or over-used?

6. How would it be determined if sufficient water supply exists in the Tukituki or elsewhere in the Hastings District to support the development of a small city at Ocean Beach?

7. Has any authority prepared any kind of future projection – say looking 10 or 20 years out – of water supply and demand in Hawke’s Bay? If so, where can those projections be found and what do they tell us?

8. What measures are in place today to: a) encourage, or b) require water conservation by various user categories?

Can’t wait to hear the answers!

Tom

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