Water system report shows urgent need for climate change preparation

27 Oct 2017

Embargoed until 5am Friday, 27 October

Water New Zealand says a new report has highlighted the serious risk our infrastructure is facing because of climate change.

Chief executive John Pfahlert says the report Climate Change and Stormwater and Wastewater Systems by the Deep South National Science Challenge outlines a very concerning future for our water network and this is something that the sector has been concerned about for some time.

He says sea level rises and increasing flooding events will create multi billion dollar challenges in the future that we need to start preparing for now.

“We need to prepare for the effect that coastal erosion and rising sea levels will have on our ability to discharge waste and stormwater.

“Flooding events and sea level rises will have a big impact on water networks and will mean that billions of dollars of underground water assets will need replacing sooner than previously expected.

“This is a huge challenge that cannot be left solely to local communities and regions to grapple with.

“We need to see a more connected discussion across the country and the new government needs to work with the water sector and local government on a collaborative approach to climate change management.”

He says delaying action will only make the choices more painful and expensive down the line.

For more information contact CEO John Pfahlert on 021 150 9763 or Communications Advisor Debra Harrington on 027 202 8857