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Water: Source use and management

“Drawing all the strings together” to get a full understanding of just where our water comes from, where it goes, and how it should be managed, is behind the calling of next week’s water symposium.

Nearly 30 speakers will address the public symposium, being held over two days (June 1 and 2) at the Peak Vision Church, Te Mata Mangateretere Road, Havelock North.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule says it is important to improve the whole community’s knowledge around the complexities of the aquifer, the management of it, and the demands on it.

“We know the importance of our water but what we want to do is to dramatically improve everyone’s understanding of our natural water systems.

“That means looking at all the demands on the supply (drinking, farming, horticulture, processing, bottling); as well as the work the regional council is doing in the rural water catchment spaces and the health risks around untreated water.

“There are real public concerns around the impacts of water use and keeping drinking water safe, and part of addressing those concerns is to make sure we all have the information we need.

Mr Yule said the range of speakers meant all bases would be covered, from science and iwi, to economics, water use and health.

Speakers include Uwe Morenstern, from the GNS Science isotope hydrology and water dating laboratory, who would explain ‘young water’ in relation to the aquifer.

Mr Yule said one of the previously unknown issues was that there was “young water” in parts of the aquifer. Water had to be below ground for longer than a year to be considered safe for drinking without treatment. “I think it will be enormously valuable as we move toward making decisions on water safety that we understand what this means, and the effects.”

Mr Yule says people should come away from the symposium with a better understanding of all parts of the natural water systems on and under the Heretaunga Plains. “Everyone has an interest in this. We don’t survive without water, so I encourage as many people as possible to attend this symposium.”

For all the details including the full programme see: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/watersymposium

4 October 2017

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