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Water crisis for Gisborne district continues

8 Jan 2014

Water crisis for Gisborne district continues

The next 24 hours will determine whether voluntary water measures are workings says Council's deputy chief executive Peter Higgs. If consumption exceeds our ability to produce water, then residents and business water supply cannot be guaranteed. The situation remains critical.

Early conservation measures appear to be working, at 10pm on Monday night prior to the crisis the water demand was 800 m3/hr, last night this was 650 m3/hr. We need demand to reduce to 500m3/hr.

Food production industries have voiced valid concerns that the water crisis will have major ramifications for their staff, growers and contractors. Therefore we need the community to assist Council by taking the water conservation measures seriously.

The waterpipe that feeds untreated water into the Mangapoike Dam has been uncovered which allowed engineers and welding contractors to inspect the damage, the plan for today is to

  • do more earthworks to stabilise the immediate work site
  • put a camera into the pipe which is still under the slip to determine whether there is any further damage
  • assess whether the existing pipe network can be reused even as a temporary measure to restore water

The repairs at the site are still expected to take 8-10 days to complete, however a definite timeframe will be known by tomorrow afternoon.

Maintenance engineers at our Waipaoa water treatment plant are attempting to produce more water; yesterday they were able to increase production from 500 to 600m3 per hour.

Our key message is for the community to conserve water, education and advertising campaigns will gain momentum today. This involves radio advertising, posters and social media. Our website will be updated continuously and has water conservation and water quality tips.

For rural residents who have run out of water, Council will allow carriers to cart a minimum supply of water only and not a full tank. Therefore if you have enough water for 10 days then please conserve water to make this last.

The water is safe to drink, there's no need to boil it. The pipe bringing treated water to the city is not affected. More information on drinking water quality.

If residents do have concerns please contact our customer services team at 06-867-2049 or visit our website for regular updates and information.