Drinking Water

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Abstraction of water from sources (total volume, m3)

Consumption of drinking water (m3 per connection, per day)
 

Purpose of indicator

Underground water supplies are an essential resource providing water for drinking and other domestic and commercial uses. Measuring how much is abstracted can be used as an indicator of pressure on the resource. Water seeps through the ground to replenish underground stores, but if it is extracted faster than it is replenished at some point there will be a deficit.

Consumption of water is considered the demand (amount required) to be met by extracting water from underground resources. Understanding water users and how much they use is a starting point for managing and planning for water infrastructure, treatment and sustainability.

Current information and trend

Public water supply is managed by Rotorua District Council. There are currently seven public water supply sources harvested for supply of drinking water to Rotorua urban areas, and rural areas including Mamaku, Rotoiti, Rotoma, Kaharoa, Reporoa, Hamurana and Okareka. Each supply is monitored for safety of drinking water and volume of water extracted.

Usually trends in population and water abstraction follow each other closely (figure 1). As population increases so does the demand for water. Long term trends show that since 2002 the estimated population level has been increasing at a slow but steady rate, while water abstraction has remained steady. However, short term trends (figure 2) show that in 2008 water abstraction volume peaked at ~147,000,000 m3 and has since dropped to less than 140,000,000 m3 in 2012, despite a small increase in population.

Chart for Long term trends for water abstraction and population
Figure 1
Source: Rotorua District Council, 2012 and Statistics New Zealand, 2012

Chart for Water abstraction and population trends 2008 to 2012
Figure 2
Source: Rotorua District Council, 2012 and Statistics New Zealand, 2012

 Chart for Water consumption by sectors
Figure 3
Source: Rotorua District Council, 2012 and Statistics New Zealand, 2012
 

Figure 3 shows the greatest consumer of water (demand) is the residential sector, followed by the commercial sector and lastly the agricultural sector. Consumption of water has remained steady for all three sectors since 2002, again, despite population increase.

Rotorua District Council has identified six major water supply projects in the 2012-2022 Long-term Plan. These include the following:

  • Investigation into potential alternative source to Taniwha Springs for Ngongotaha water supply
  • Automatic shut-off valves to protect water supplies in the event of an earthquake
  •  A link between the Eastern and Central water supplies for continued supply in an emergency
  • Upgrading and upsizing  pipe capacity in the urban and Mamaku networks to comply with fire fighting flow requirements
  • Dividing the water supply network into smaller sectors for better pressure management and analysis for breakages and leakages.
  • Moving or replacing Eastern and Victoria Street Arterial services at the time they are constructed.

In summary

  • Since 2002 estimated population has increased slightly, while water abstraction has remained steady.
  • The greatest demand for water is from the residential sector, then the commercial sector and the agricultural sector.
  • Consumption of water has remained steady for all sectors.
  • Six major projects are identified for water supply services in council’s Long-term Plan 2012-2022
Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:12am