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neb



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#272628 6-Jul-2020 16:26
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Just thinking out loud here, there's a ton of farmland down in the direction of the Waikato, including bare valleys (no trees/ecological issues). Could Auckland's water problems be addressed by throwing a dam across one or more of those and pumping winter floodwater into it, which could then be siphoned off during the summer when it's settled a bit? In other words store surplus water somewhere where there's plenty of space available for it and use it when it's needed?

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  #2518103 6-Jul-2020 16:40
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From a quick calculation, the amount drawn from the river now for Auckland is way under 1% of river flow - so there's probably no need for storage as described.


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  #2518104 6-Jul-2020 16:43
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Fred99:

From a quick calculation, the amount drawn from the river now for Auckland is way under 1% of river flow - so there's probably no need for storage as described.

 

 

There may be no technical need, but there'd definitely be a political need - you want to explain drawing water from the Waikato during a summer drought rather than in winter when there's a surplus? Also, it needs time to settle since there's not enough capacity at the water treatment plant to treat it as it's drawn out, so you'd definitely want to get it months in advance.

 
 
 
 


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  #2518105 6-Jul-2020 16:48
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Treating it will just make it lose flavour, that hint of Hamilton with a note of eau de bovine, masked by chlorine.

 

I don't know how much settlement is needed - it's not really very turbid anyway is it?  It's going to have to be treated regardless of how long it sat in a reservoir untreated.


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  #2518124 6-Jul-2020 17:36
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The government has taken a great first step by allowing household water storage without a council consent which will allow people to capture stormwater and use it for non potable purposes.

 

I have been told that Watercare had an infrastructure fund that was built up to finance an additional dam in the Waitakere Ranges. However after the council amalgamation, that money was also ‘amalgamated’ in the council coffers. I would rather see them “throw a dam across a valley” in the Waitakeres (or Hunuas) and increase the capture capability.





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  #2518126 6-Jul-2020 17:39
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Dingbatt: I would rather see them “throw a dam across a valley” in the Waitakeres (or Hunuas) and increase the capture capability.

 

 

Again, it's a political thing. Buying up, felling, and drowning many hectares of native bush in the Waitakeres/Hunuas is a complete non-starter. Buying up a corner of a farm in the Waikato, building a dam, and pumping river water into it is rather more palatable.

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  #2518133 6-Jul-2020 17:56
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neb:
Dingbatt: I would rather see them “throw a dam across a valley” in the Waitakeres (or Hunuas) and increase the capture capability.
Again, it's a political thing. Buying up, felling, and drowning many hectares of native bush in the Waitakeres/Hunuas is a complete non-starter. Buying up a corner of a farm in the Waikato, building a dam, and pumping river water into it is rather more palatable.

 

Im not sure how big you think the farms are in the Waikato, but any useful storage would probably involve thousands of hectares of productive farmland because of the flat topography around the river close to Auckland. Then there is the energy required to elevate the water into storage and then pump it to Auckland. Maybe burn coal at the Huntly Power Station to achieve that?

 

Or drown a few trees. Which has the greater environmental impact?

 

It’s Auckland’s problem to solve, not Waikato’s* and sits squarely at the feet of the local politicians who have allowed the population of Auckland to double without the corresponding increase in infrastructure.

 

* I live in Auckland.





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  #2518135 6-Jul-2020 18:07
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Dingbatt:

any useful storage would probably involve thousands of hectares of productive farmland because of the flat topography around the river close to Auckland.

 

 

If it weren't for all the hilly areas down there I'd agree with you. For example there's those hills... edge of civilisation... someone longboarded down them... now what were they called again?

 

 

Dingbatt:

Then there is the energy required to elevate the water into storage and then pump it to Auckland.

 

 

Like the Waikato Water Treatment Plant is already doing you mean?

 
 
 
 


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  #2518138 6-Jul-2020 18:17
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neb:
dingbatt:

 

Then there is the energy required to elevate the water into storage and then pump it to Auckland.

 

Like the Waikato Water Treatment Plant is already doing you mean?

 

Yep. Use even more energy rather than gravity.





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  #2518180 6-Jul-2020 19:18
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Dingbatt:

The government has taken a great first step by allowing household water storage without a council consent which will allow people to capture stormwater and use it for non potable purposes.


I have been told that Watercare had an infrastructure fund that was built up to finance an additional dam in the Waitakere Ranges. However after the council amalgamation, that money was also ‘amalgamated’ in the council coffers. I would rather see them “throw a dam across a valley” in the Waitakeres (or Hunuas) and increase the capture capability.



And yet they forced me to pay thousands to connect to the pipe passing my rural (Tuakau) lifestyle block rather than allow me to have my own tanks and use my own roof water only 4 years ago when I built my home 😡

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  #2518183 6-Jul-2020 19:28
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Getting dams built under the RMA given the impacts they create is nigh on impossible.

 

The Waikato will get Auckland through for another 20 years or so - beyond that it will likely be desal and/or wastewater reuse.

 

 


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  #2518229 6-Jul-2020 21:52
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The lack of storage reservoirs and decent cross country pumping mains in NZ is certainly something that needs to be dealt with as we start to see more droughts.

 

 

 

The PWA needs revamping to modernise it; it seems to me that half the problem is the number of people whose views must be "consulted" with. When works for the public good are undertaken, compensation is paid and owners move. It should be that simple. I used to do it for a living.






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  #2518235 6-Jul-2020 22:02
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driller2000: ... The Waikato will get Auckland through for another 20 years or so - ...

 

Now is the time to do it. Not in 20 years or so. Reasons for this, in no particular order ...

 

     

  1. The "... or so ..." part can be a lot shorter than 20 yrs.
  2. people are thinking that after the lvl 4 lockdown period when we had a chance to experience lower traffic, cleaner air, louder birds, now is the time to start green projects
  3. the govt will get a boost  for being forward thinking & working hard to achieve those Paris climate goals
  4. it'll take years to build
  5. it'll take years to finetune
  6. great way to stimulate the economy in a "climate friendly" manner

 

 





Please keep this GZ community vibrant by contributing in a constructive & respectful manner.


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  #2518243 6-Jul-2020 23:25
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Auckland already has a lot of storage.

 

Roughly 120 Billion liters.

 

Daily usage currently stands at 398 Million liters per day, so 300 days of storage at current consumption rate.

 

Auckland peak usage was 568MLD, so even with peak (current) summer usage, that 211 days.

 

Although the dams are big, They only fill from rain in their catchments. The dams in the Hunua ranges are partially big relative to catchment so slow to refill.

 

 

 

As such we have plenty of storage to get us through seasonal stuff. The current concern is that we could potentially require harsh restrictions to avoid running out of water late next summer (6+ months away).

 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion, little point spending more money on more dam capacity.

 

Money would be better spent (as watercare is doing) on capturing more water sources (plus the pipes to move treated water between area's). These additional sources add diversity, reducing risk, and mean in dry times we can draw less from the dam's keeping them fuller.

 

Future plans are largely focused on the Waikato as it has relatively low flow variability, is fairly massive, and has a catchment far from Auckland (reducing the odds of it being in doubt when Auckland's other catchments are.) This makes it a quite desirable source. Downsides is that it is relatively expensive to treat (fairly dirty, downstream of Hamilton waste water treatment discharges), and pump to Auckland (quite long pipe run).

 

 

 

Should note watercare is currently scrambling to deal with a 1:100 year return period event. Watercare could have invested more in the past, but their models said they didn't need to. A bit of a scramble can be the cost effective solution rather than investing in heaps of excess capacity.

 

With regards to the 200MLD consent, I think there is a bit of use of the current situation opportunistically to get that moving. That capacity wasn't projected to be needed until 2030, but it would be great to know if it can be granted soon (rather than waiting in the consenting queue for the next decade) to make planning decisions.


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  #2518327 7-Jul-2020 09:40
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why not make all new builds/renovations require rain water harvesting solution as part of the project. Sydney did similar a few years ago now.

 

use that water to feed washing machines/toilets/etc.

 

edit: added further dets.


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  #2518340 7-Jul-2020 09:58
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Im in Ak. I see it as Ak wanting to move/blame the issue on another region.
Its the usual Ak wait till it breaks, then panic & fix it . Every time. Then never learn from the past .

 

AK want Waikato to bypass their consenting processes , but Ak wont do the same here . The Mayor was today saying Ak cant do this & that
because of delays due to consenting procedures: Lets tell Waikato to bypass their consenting procedures .

 

Ak refuse to pay Waikato for the water, then Ak will charge its ratepayers for that same water . 

Its OK for those on the outskirts of Ak to use tank/rainwater for everyday use(drinking/washing), but somehow NOT OK for urban AK'ers to do the same.
What the real reason urban Ak'ers cant use rain/tank water for everyday use ? Because that will impinge on Watercares monopoly perhaps ?

 

This issue wont be fixed. It will be the usual band aid short term solution. Wait 10 years then repeat .

 

 


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