New regulatory reporting will improve transparency and drinking water safety

15 Jul 2022

15 July 2022

Water New Zealand says the new water services regulator’s first report on drinking water compliance is a big step towards better transparency and safety improvements in the sector.

Taumata Arowai’s Drinking Water Regulation Report 2021 covers the six weeks between 15 November, when the new agency officially took over the regulatory role from the Ministry of Health, and 31 December 2021.

Water New Zealand chief executive, Gillian Blythe says this report includes drinking water compliance information from a broader set of New Zealanders.

“It starts to capture supplies to communities of less than 100, previously excluded from the Ministry of Health report.

“We welcome this new era of better transparency across the sector.”

The report highlights:

  • 296 supplies, covering 18% of New Zealanders did not meet drinking water standards.
  • 189 supplies, covering 63.9% met drinking water standards.
  • 14.6% of the population received water from unregistered or domestic self supplies. This is of unknown standard.

“It is important to have a clear understanding of the performance of all water suppliers in order to ensure that wherever we are in the country, drinking water is fit for purpose and therefore safe to drink.”

The report has revealed that during the six weeks’ reporting period, there were 209 notifications of breaches of drinking water standards by 127 suppliers.

“This shows the importance of the regulator receiving real time notifications of non compliance.”