Since my last update, Auckland has continued to experience hot and dry weather conditions, and while there have been some isolated bursts of rain, Watercare’s storage levels remain at 66 %, significantly lower than the 80% level that is normal for this time of year.
Careful management by Watercare has meant that we have still not been required to impose water restrictions, but it is important to continue saving water wherever you can.
Auckland Council is playing its part by turning off almost all its water features and fountains, as well as all splash pads at leisure centres, except those that use recycled water.
Protecting the essentials
We are continuing to carry out essential irrigation of our sports fields, to prevent loss of turf and ensure that they can still be used over winter. Gardens throughout the region are being watered only as required and the bare minimum of water used.
To help ease pressure on rural Aucklanders who rely on rain tanks for their water supply, the Council’s tanker-to-tanker water delivery initiative has been delivering up to 1 million litres of water a day to rural communities, and community water collection stations have been opened at more than 34 sites across the region for people to collect water in containers for household use.
Please visit www.ourauckland.nz for water collection locations and for more information about saving water.
Central Interceptor Project
Last fortnight, with Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, Councillors and local board members, I attended the sod-turning ceremony for the $1.2 billion Central Interceptor Project.
It will create a tunnel 14.7 kms long and 4.5 mts wide from Grey Lynn to the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant and has a holding capacity of 200,000 cubic metres.
The Central Interceptor will fully cater for growth in population over the coming decades and will dramatically reduce the hundreds of wastewater overflows into our harbours and onto our beaches which happen now every time it rains.
By itself, the Central Interceptor will cut wastewater overflows by over 80% when it is finished in 2025. Combined with Watercare’s other projects in Auckland, and the millions of dollars of investment enabled by the Water Quality Targeted Rate, it will enable us to bring forward by 20 years our plans to clean up Auckland’s beaches and waterways.
It is a massive investment, but it means we will leave for future generations a legacy of clean, safe, healthy beaches for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
Budget 2020 Consultation
Finally, consultation on Auckland Council’s Annual Budget 2020-2021 is open now.
My Budget Proposal includes a $2.7 billion investment in capital assets in the coming year, which will enable us to continue improving our transport network, reducing traffic congestion and providing the services and facilities Auckland needs to be world class.
At the same time, we are ensuring that Auckland Council finds efficiencies and savings wherever possible. The cumulative annual savings of $63 million by 2020-2021 outlined in this budget demonstrates our clear focus on providing maximum value for money for ratepayers.
To find out more about our Annual Budget and to have your say, visit www.akhaveyoursay.nz
Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland. He writes a regular column in Indian Newslink.