Late Reports

Ordinary Council meeting

Monday, 8 November 2021



Monday, 8 November 2021


10.30am  (Representation Review deliberations)


Tauranga City Council

Council Chambers

91 Willow Street


Please note that this meeting will be livestreamed and the recording will be publicly available on Tauranga City Council's website:

Marty Grenfell

Chief Executive


Ordinary Council meeting Agenda

8 November 2021


Order of Business

11       Business. 4

11.2         Water Conservation Strategy Update. 4



Ordinary Council meeting Agenda

8 November 2021


11        Business

11.2       Water Conservation Strategy Update

File Number:           A13030314

Author:                    Peter Bahrs, Team Leader: Water Services

Authoriser:              Nic Johansson, General Manager: Infrastructure


Purpose of the Report

1.      This report provides an update on the water restriction procedure and plan ahead of implementation in mid-November 2021.


That the Council:

(a)     Receives this late report on the water conservation strategy update



2.      We have been reviewing our waters restriction procedure to ensure this is relevant for the upcoming summer and into the future, considering the source water challenges identified at the Strategy, Finance and Risk Committee meeting on 1 November 2021.

3.      We had earlier signalled to our community via media release that we were making changes to our water conservation strategy as a result of these source water challenges combined with the anticipation of drier weather over the coming months. 

4.      The procedure has now been updated based upon the following elements:

(a)     Previous summers water restrictions, their effectiveness and the impact on the water network

(b)     The evolving source water situation especially in the Tautau stream

(c)     Lessons learned by consultancy GHD in supporting Councils in Australia managing water shortages

(d)     Feedback from Watercare Services on the recent water shortage in Auckland.

5.      The updated procedure has been modified to reflect the following changes:

(a)     We will now impose restrictions on a proactive basis, rather than reacting to the 7-day rolling average.  This is to provide for more time for community education and avoid a peak in demand prior to implementing restrictions and also to ensure that we can manage demand on the source water streams.

(b)     There are now four water conservation / restriction periods:

(i)      November – minor restrictions will be put in place to reduce water usage in specific areas where demand may spike should dry weather occur, this includes reducing the hours during the day that water is used outdoors.

(ii)     December to March – we’ll be introducing a significantly stronger set of restrictions aimed at supressing water use over the period where we have historically seen highest demand.  This will enable us to maintain source water stream levels whilst balancing community needs. 

(iii)     April – we plan to return to minor restrictions, following the stronger set of restrictions throughout the summer.  We will also continue to encourage the wise use of water.

(iv)    May to October – an ongoing conservation / “restriction” that recognises the importance and value of water and keeps water use front of mind in the community.

6.      In setting the December to March restrictions, we have benchmarked these against the prior ‘Level 1’ restrictions that have been imposed over the last four summers and allowed us to keep water use to within the city’s production limits.  However, these updated restrictions go a bit further, in response to the reduction in source water flows, in particular the Tautau Stream.

7.      We will continue to monitor the 7-day rolling average as a basis for measuring water demand and the effectiveness of restrictions.

8.      If the new water conservation plan is not sufficient to maintain adequate source water stream levels (i.e. significant reduction in source water availability) or maintain water use below treatment capacity or if there is an event that impacts our ability to provide water, (i.e. major pipe breakage, plant failure etc.) then the updated plan proposes a move into an emergency phase, where all discretionary outdoor water use would be banned.  In this instance, industrial and commercial users of water would also be asked to further reduce consumption until the supply issues have been resolved.

Next Steps

9.      We will be launching the plan this week and further promoting our water conservation efforts in the media over the coming weeks and months.

10.    The detailed plan outlining how the community can use water throughout the year together with common FAQ’s will be published on our website to coincide with the launching of the plan.