The Kāpiti coast Chamber of Commerce welcomes the opportunity to make a contribution to the Water Project.

The Kāpiti coast Chamber of Commerce welcomes the opportunity to make a contribution to the Water Project. It strongly supports the Council’s approach to making progress on the critical issue of water as it impacts on the opportunity for the future economic development of Kāpiti.

The Chamber’s interest in business and economic development is clear. However, our comments

below mainly address some high level concerns about factors to consider overall decision making

process and to highlight some of the risks that we see as you move through the water project to select an option. We have not attempted to highlight criteria such as cultural issues which will no doubt be canvassed by others.

Comments

1. We note that where water services are perceived to be “free” there are few real drivers to

conserve. The Chamber has grave concerns about the assumption of 400 litres of water per

person per day peak consumption when the current peak is more like 650 litres per day. The

implications of both peak and average consumption on sizing of the capacity solutions

available may lead to a solution that has a much shorter life than anticipated. This could be

particularly critical for storage options and less so for run of river options. That is, if this

project uses the wrong numbers now, our community will be faced with looking for yet

another ‘solution’ to water far earlier than it should have to. Let’s do it once and do it right.

With this in mind, how will the project allow for the possibility that consumption

assumptions may be wrong?

2. Aside from all the other conservation tools available to the Council, it seems to the Chamber

that the introduction of charges for water based on actual household and business usage

could be invaluable in helping to achieve the 400 litre per person target. The seeming

exclusion of a mechanism that would allow for charging is an omission from the terms of

reference and the Chamber believes it should be actively considered and costed as part of

the project.

3. As business growth in the area could be expected to increase ahead of population growth it

would be useful to consider the possible implications for water usage as a result of this. If

there are more jobs created in the area and less people travelling outside the district what

are the implications for water usage over and above what might be normally expected?

4. The Chamber also regards considering cross catchment water supply as being high on the list

of essential criteria. This is of particular importance where there are clear economic

benefits (both in terms of capital and/or operational costs) of a cross catchment solution

over limiting solutions to particular catchments. Such an approach also reduces overall

supply risks by introducing some diversity into capacity.

5. The above comment on price also stands on its own. There should be consideration given to

the balance between initial capital and ongoing operational costs and the relative impact on

rates.

6. Finally, water quality needs to be considered particularly in relation to costs. For example

storage ponds can suffer from algal blooms and bores from issues around dissolved minerals.

Mitigating these factors will dictate costs as well as influencing how useful the water actually

is.

The Chamber would be pleased to explain any of the above comments and would very much like to continue

to be involved in the Water Project as it moves to the next stage.

Mark Ternent

Chairperson

Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce

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