Our latest consent to abstract water from the Waikato River has now been activated, and our first investment of $2m for river restoration will soon be transferred to the Waikato River Authority’s river clean-up trust.
In January 2022, a Board of Inquiry granted us a 20-year resource consent to treat up to 150 million litres a day from the Waikato River. This consent was activated on 1 January 2023 which, with the original 150-million-litre-per-day (MLD) consent still in place, means we now have consent to abstract up to 300 million litres a day.
Our chief operations officer Mark Bourne says while it will be some time before Aucklanders need access to the full allocation, activating the consent now provides extra reassurance.
“With our newest consent now activated, we’re no longer limited by seasonal variations in how much we can treat, which we’ve operated with until now. It means we can forfeit our seasonal water take consent as well as the short-term 25MLD allocation kindly shared with us by our Hamilton City Council neighbours.
“A consistent, year-round allocation provides much greater certainty in terms of planning, and means we’re in a better position to meet population growth and face any future droughts.”
Bourne says we are proud to be contributing $2m to fund projects that protect and enhance the Waikato River and its tributaries.
“Due to our connection with the Waikato River, we’ve been contributing to restoration projects like riparian planting for the past two decades. But our new arrangement with the Waikato River Authority steps it up a notch, reflecting the importance of protecting and restoring the awa that plays a significant role in sustaining our city and allowing it to grow.”
The initial $2m contribution – due to be transferred on 20 January 2023 – will be followed by annual investments of $2m for the duration of the consent.
Last year the Waikato River Authority awarded $5.7m to 26 projects that will clean up the Waikato and Waipā rivers.