The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is designed to help meet the future water supply needs of Tauranga and the wider Western Bay of Plenty.
What is the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme?
The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme involves developing a water abstraction facility on the Waiāri Stream, a water treatment plant in No.1 Road, Te Puke, and an underground water pipeline from the plant to Papamoa.
The plant will mainly service the Papamoa coastal strip/Te Tumu growth areas and in time will provide a backup for Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Te Puke water supply.
Construction started in March 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2021.
Why do we need a new water supply?
Increased demand in the coastal strip
The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will provide for around 35,000 family homes, enabling both infill growth and new greenfield development across the city.
The coastal strip from Mount Maunganui to Papamoa is predicted to be Tauranga’s highest growth area – we’re expecting Papamoa’s population to triple over the next three decades. Te Puke’s population is also expected to grow steadily.
Tauranga currently has two water treatment plants: one at Oropi and one at Joyce Road. These plants provide Tauranga with water, but they won’t be able to provide for the growth in population in our coastal communities.
In the 2017/2018 summer, we introduced water restrictions in Tauranga for the first time in 17 years. This shows that we are nearing the capacity of our current water supply. The Waiāri Water Supply Scheme will ensure security of supply as the city and sub-region expands.
How will you protect the Waiāri Stream?
We’ve been undertaking ecological monitoring since the resource consent was granted in 2010, and will continue to monitor the stream’s chemical and biological health. We’ll also plant alongside the stream to prevent erosion and re-establish shade.
We’ll also carry out regular surveys to ensure the protection of aquatic life, including temperature readings, fish surveys and invertebrate samples.
How will the scheme be funded?
The project will cost Tauranga City Council $115 million, which is being funded in the first instance by an interest-free government Housing Infrastructure Fund loan. We’ll be able to repay the loan once we receive revenue from new houses, development contributions and rates.
Where is the pipeline going?
The water will flow from the plant through around 15 kilometres of underground pipelines, but the exact routes are still being finalised.
What about the local iwi?
Iwi relationships with the river, water quality and quantity, and ecosystem health are important in our plans for the increasing population in the Papamoa East area.
The project recognises the inherent relationship tangata whenua have with the stream by partnering with iwi through the Waiāri Kaitiaki Advisory Committee.
Last Reviewed: 16/08/2018