‘Recycled water’: the key thing a handpicked consultation group representing Aucklanders told Watercare that our city needs for future water sources beyond 2040. So said Amanda Singleton, Watercare’s Chief Customer Officer, at the Watercare Developers Forum on Thursday 11 May.
Leading thought under the day heading of ‘He Whakamata’, which refers to the integral first woven line of a cloak, the Watercare Developers Forum brought together hundreds of people involved in local government, civil engineering, water supply and provision. The Watersmart team also attended in force.
The forum featured presentations from the Watercare executive team, Healthy Waters and the Department of Internal Affairs, who gave an update on the Affordable Water Reform – formerly Three Waters. It also showcased informative and interactive booths, giving attendees the opportunity to talk to Watercare experts at each of the nine steps of the developer’s journey from early engagement to connection.
Dave Chambers, Watercare’s Chief Executive, led the day off in uncompromising form. “The 1 in 100 year rainfall is now a 1 in 3-4 years event,” he said, acknowledging that climate change is “a very real issue”, one of the four major challenges that the organisation faces, and that Watercare has spent $3.244 billion over the last five years in working to build Auckland’s resilience.
Other key presentations through the day came from Amanda Singleton, who talked about what Watercare is doing to build partnerships into the commercial sector and improve services and to streamline the consenting and compliance process, asset protection, works-over information, and infrastructure. She was followed by Martin Butler, Strategic Advisor Entity A, who gave an update on the Government’s Water Services Reform programme, which has evolved from Three Waters into the Affordable Water Reform programme (see images of his slides).
For us at Watersmart it was refreshing to be part of such an open and collaborative discussion, particularly as we are already helping to meet the recycling challenge Watercare described, bringing world-leading products such as Hydraloop, the world’s first in-home water recycling system, into Auckland. The future is here in our city, now.