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News

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Better linking of stormwater management and land-use needed

Recently retired water engineer Jan Hejis says bad planning is the root cause of recent flooding and we need clear direction, changes in legislation and guidance to avoid further catastrophes.

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What now for Auckland? Four ideas for a more climate resilient city

Auckland's floods may have been historic but flooding on a similar scale will strike again soon. What can Aotearoa's largest city do to prepare? Read this RNZ article where four experts share their big ideas.

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Making cities more 'spongy' to cope with future deluges

Before Auckland flooded badly on Friday evening University of Auckland Urban Planning Senior Lecturer Timothy Welch wrote about the idea of 'spongy cities' to cope with increased climate change rainfall.

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‘Just crazy’: Public health expert urges against swimming in contaminated floodwaters, beaches

Aucklanders are being urged to stay away from closed beaches and avoid contaminated floodwaters, as a second deluge threatens to again swamp Auckland’s hard-hit storm and wastewater network.

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Water New Zealand Welcomes new Establishment Chief Executives for Water Services Entities

First step towards specialist workforce for water services across Aotearoa New Zealand

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Chief executives for Water Services Entities confirmed

Chief executives to lead the new Water Services Entities have been confirmed.

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What a Waste: Getting Our Poop Sludge Out of Landfill

Australia puts 80% of its nutrient-rich 'biosolids' back onto farm land as fertiliser. In New Zealand it's just 20%.

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Council wastewater ponds may have to be fenced

Water New Zealand says a WorkSafe order that lead to the Gore District Council erecting deer fencing around its wastewater ponds could set a standard that other councils need to take note of.

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Water industry group warns against more delays to 3 Waters reform

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe speaks with Brent Edwards.

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Concern over misuse of boil water notices

There's concern that boil water notices are being wrongly used by some water suppliers as long term solutions to water quality issues, with one town having a boil water notice in place for 28 years. Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe says smaller providers can often struggle have the finance, skills and knowledge to fix issues.

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Smart eco-solution to reduce phosphorus in waterways

Engineers at the University of Auckland are designing way to clean phosphorus from waste water and turn it into fertiliser - a process with both environmental and financial benefits

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New Zealand's wastewater-contaminated beaches a sign of what global warming could bring

As the sun comes back out across the country, "unsuitable for swimming" signs are also going out at many popular beaches. The wild weather and heavy bouts of rain have forced wastewater treatment plants to overflow - contaminating waterways and popular swimming spots.

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Dry summer leads to Grey District water restrictions

The Grey District water network is under significant pressure from the long spell of hot dry weather and increased demand.

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Wellington beaches closed to swimmers after storm

Most Wellington beaches were off-limits for swimmers on Thursday after a sewage treatment plant was forced to release wastewater due to heavy rainfall the night before.

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Don’t spoil your holidays through water borne illnesses

New Zealanders are being urged to check to ensure that their water is safe to drink this summer.

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe says as we head off on our holidays, it’s important to take precautions to ensure that the water at our destination won't cause sickness.

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Chlorine removal at least five years away for nearly half of Christchurch

Chlorine will not be removed from a large chunk of Christchurch’s water for at least five years, according to a new report.

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Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade starts

Work has started on a $60 million upgrade of the Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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Water Mission to Gauge Alaskan Rivers on Front Lines of Climate Change

An upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will provide a trove of data on Earth’s water resources, even in remote locations.

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Council executive who gave $7m sewage plant contract to cake decorator guilty of corruption

A former council executive who arranged for a $7 million sewage plant contract to be awarded to a cake decorator has been found guilty of corruption.

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Solving One Piece of the Freshwater Restoration Puzzle at a Time

How are land managers motivated to record and report their land management actions? A new paper from the Register of Land Management Actions project identifies collective engagement, efficient farm management and social norms as key drivers.

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Chlorine to remain in Selwyn water supplies for now as bid to remove it fails

Temporary chlorination will continue throughout most of Selwyn – including in Rolleston, Lincoln and Darfield – after a bid to halt it failed.

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Dozens of beaches unsafe to swim in after storms

Dozens of beaches across Auckland are currently unsafe to swim in following bouts of heavy rainfall over the past few days.

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Wellington losing 27 Olympic swimming pools of water a day through leaks

About 40% of Wellington’s water supply – roughly the equivalent of 27 Olympic sized swimming pools – is being wasted each day because of 5000-plus leaks from the capital region’s pipes, according to new estimates from Wellington Water.

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Bergen – A city that celebrates its water challenges

World-leading work that has brought climate resilience to this Norwegian city where nature-based solutions have created a biodiverse and good for well-being environment, with water central to its city planning.

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EPA proposes to close ‘loophole’ for reporting ‘forever chemical’ releases

In the US, the EPA is proposing to close a prior “loophole” that allowed some companies to get out of reporting their releases of certain kinds of toxic chemicals.

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New legislation to provide affordable water services for New Zealanders

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the two new bills introduced to Parliament following the passage of the Water Services Entities Act will help ensure affordable drinking water, wastewater and stormwater can be provided to New Zealanders now and into the future.


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Three Waters legislation a big step towards improving water services resilience

The passing of the Water Services Entities Bill is another step towards addressing the huge infrastructure deficit facing Aotearoa New Zealand.

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48 of Wellington's drinking water reservoirs are vulnerable to contamination - report

All of Wellington’s above ground drinking water reservoirs have been assessed as vulnerable to contamination.

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600,000 UK properties face surface water flood risk

A new report by the National Infrastructure Commission has found that, without action to reduce urban runoff and improve drainage, 600,000 properties in the UK face flooding.


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DOC’s Community Environment Fund open

The Department of Conservation (DOC) Community Fund is now open for community conservation groups undertaking critical, grassroots work to support Aotearoa’s biodiversity strategy.

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Award winning campaign to keep wipes out of pipes

A public education campaign to reduce pipe blockages caused by wipes during the first few months of Covid has picked up an award at the NSW Sustainability Awards.

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Is a hydrogen-powered future hiding in our wastewater?

Its first steps may have been hesitant – thanks to a funding slump following the 2008 financial crisis – but hydrogen is now back and looking like a winner for renewable, clean energy. And its success may lie in a dirty source.

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Smart Water initative launched

The Smart Water partnership between Hamilton City Council, Waipā District Council and Waitomo District Council aims to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of water, from the source to tap, and support schools, organisations and the community to value water and use it in an efficient way.

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NZ’s groundwater still ‘widely vulnerable’ to faecal contamination'

A new analysis of national groundwater data has shown concerning trends in areas with intensive farming, where detections of harmful E. coli bacteria have been rising.

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Chlorination of Selwyn water supplies to continue

Chlorine will be added to the Selwyn district's major water supplies until at least December 14 after councillors were divided on whether to immediately remove it.

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Three Waters to pass through Parliament in time for Christmas

The Leader of the House, Chris Hipkins has confirmed that the Water Services Entities Bill will pass before Christmas

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Experts raise alarm over WHO’s PFAS limits for drinking water

More than 110 scientists and regulators worldwide are raising a public alarm over what they label “weak” PFAS drinking water limits proposed by the World Health Organization.


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Safer drinking water for rural communities

Water treatment specialist company, FILTEC, have partnered with Crown Infrastructure Partners to deliver safe, clean drinking water units to 120 rural communities across Aotearoa New Zealand over the next few years

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Christchurch water fluoridation decision delayed until next year

A decision on fluoridating Christchurch’s water has been delayed until at least April despite calls for urgency in the face of concerns at childhood tooth decay.

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Central Interceptor’s micro-Tunnel Boring Machine breaks through for third time

Watercare's micro-Tunnel Boring Machine (m-TBM) called Domenica has today (16 November) broken through to Miranda Reserve, Avondale after travelling 1212m from Dundale Ave, Blockhouse Bay as she builds the first of two branch sewers for our Central Interceptor.

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The battle over NZ’s biggest water take

NZ’s largest hydro power station wrestles with a nationally significant river – and the Environment Court. David Williams reports

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Climate change threatens drinking water, crops, infrastructure

This week, water was one of the topics under discussion at the COP-27 climate summit in Egypt. Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe says that here in Aotearoa New Zealand, climate change will have a big impact on our water environment and we urgently need a focused whole-of-system approach to water and its connections to wider environmental and social outcomes.

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Need for long term solutions to Three Waters

In a recent blog, Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe discusses the challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand’s three waters sector and how we can achieve a long term sustainable approach to Three Waters management.

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Select Committee reports back on Water Services Entities Bill

The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee this afternoon reported back on the Water Services Entities Bill. See the Minister’s media release and the Select Committee report.

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New Taumata Arowai CEO

Allan Prangnell has been named as the next Chief Executive of Taumata Arowai. Allan Prangnell will replace Bill Bayfield who has taken the organisation through its establishment phase since mid-2019 and will step down from the role in January.

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Auckland could be drinking recycled water by 2040

Watercare will investigate whether recycled water is a viable option for Auckland’s drinking water supply.

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Explained: Three Waters legislation takes another step forward

"It costs a lot of money to make sure the water you drink is safe and it costs a lot of money to ensure that when you flush the toilet or empty the water in the sink … that waste is being managed in a way that is appropriate,” says Water New Zealand CEO Gillian Blythe.

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Auckland treatment plant shutdown due to contaminant

Watercare has shut down an Auckland treatment plant after finding PFAs contamination above drinking water threshold levels.

It has only just spent $2 million upgrading the Onehunga plant.


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Government support for rural water suppliers

Associate Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty was in Eketāhuna today to announce the Government is accepting applications for a programme to support rural drinking water suppliers meet Taumata Arowai water standards.

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Dozens of communities at serious flood risk and unprepared - report

A government report has for the first time identified dozens of communities at serious risk of flooding and totally unprepared for it.