New water source for drought-stricken Kaikohe
Published on 06 March 2020
Far North District Council is on track to supplement drought-stricken Kaikohe’s dwindling water supplies, thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund and two local trusts.
In response to the drought, Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones, has made $2 million available for temporary water supplies in Kaikohe and Kaitaia through the Provincial Growth Fund.
The Council, working together with Lake Omapere Trust, will manage a take of up to 1500 cubic metres of water a day from Lake Omapere for 100 days. The lake will supplement Wairoro Stream, which provides most of Kaikohe’s water, but is flowing at critically low levels.
Omapere Taraire E Rangihamama X3A Ahuwhenua Trust has also given permission to pipe the water 2.8km over its land to Taraire Hills Water Treatment Plant via a fire service-style hose on loan from Refining NZ’s Marsden Point facility. The Council has deployed power generators at the lake and is installing a water pump today. It expects to be able to draw water from the lake by the weekend.
Far North Mayor John Carter says he is thankful to all parties involved in delivering the solution for Kaikohe.
“The Government, Lake Omapere Trust, Omapere Taraire E Rangihamama X3A Ahuwhenua Trust, Civil Defence Northland and Refining NZ have all worked alongside the Council to find a solution to the water crisis facing Kaikohe.”
He says the remaining obstacle to supplying potable water from Lake Omapere is its susceptibility to toxic algal blooms.
“We are reconfiguring our Taraire Hills Water Treatment Plant, so it can treat the lake water effectively. We are also working closely with Northland District Health Board, which needs to approve the lake as a temporary water source.”
Until then, he is asking Kaikohe residents and businesses to continue conserving water.
“Kaikohe has shown how resourceful it is by reducing its water consumption by an impressive 38 per cent. I’m asking everyone to continue those savings for now.”
Representatives of Lake Omapere Trust, Omapere Taraire E Rangihamama X3A Ahuwhenua Trust and the Far North District Council attended a blessing at Lake Omapere in February.