Dovedale Scheme Public Meeting 22 Feb 2018

There was a large and active turnout at the public meeting on 22 February 2018 at the Moutere Hills Community Centre. This meeting was organised by Tasman District Council to discuss the situation of the Dovedale Rural Water Scheme.

Present were councillors Tim King and Dean McNamara, council staff for Water Engineering, and representatives for Civil Defence/Recovery.

An update was given on the current damage to the scheme and future upgrade options.

The upper (main) intake structure was substantially damaged during the recent ex-cyclone weather event and significant work will be required to reinstate this. The lower intake was also damaged but council aims to have this serviceable to 50% capacity by the following Saturday. In addition the pipe bridge that was recently replaced was a total loss and needs to be replaced again (and raised further). However at 50% capacity there is unlikely to be water for customers at the furthest reaches of the system (e.g. Upper Moutere township). No time estimate was given for bringing the scheme back up to 100% capacity.

It also emerged that some residents have no water at all and do not have the required storage at their properties. If water loss is the result of the storm and residents lack drinking water they should contact council to arrange water delivery. This will be for drinking water only. Council reminded residents of their obligations under the bylaw to have sufficient storage on their properties.

Costs of remediating the scheme will be discussed by council and a decision made on how this cost will be recovered should be made within the next month.

A summary of options for further improvement of the scheme were discussed:

Council are likely obligated to improve the scheme to meet water quality standards. There is some uncertainty around this due to current legislative processes. In addition council's view is that a new bore and realignment of pipework to go beneath the road in Dovedale is required to make the scheme more resilient. There are currently multiple breakages or other significant maintenance works required each year.

The cost of the new bore if covered by the scheme's users would be significant (around $3 million in total), and this could take 2-unit costs up from ~$1200 to ~$2300 per year, while treatment costs would be in addition to this.

Several options for managing costs were given including the scheme bearing the cost of the work, the scheme joining the "Water Club", council treating water at point of delivery, or council divestment of the scheme. There was a large amount of discussion around these points.

It was suggested that the current scheme management committee be reformed and by consensus this occurred at the meeting. A new management committee will be formalised in the coming weeks. Council will work with the committee to develop options and will also circulate information and a questionnaire to residents to gather more information about scheme use. Some information was handed out at the meeting but they ran out early on, copies will be emailed to scheme users.

As a reminder: if you are connected to the Dovedale Water Scheme but your are not yet receiving emails directly from council regarding the scheme, then please contact council to have your email address added to the list of Dovedale Scheme users.

For those who were not able to attend the meeting, the information leaflet containing upgrade options and calculations handed out by Council is available for download here.