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Meeting demand for drinking water

Writing and editorial services provided by Learning Media Limited, Box 3293, Wellington.

Introduction

water.jpgHigh-quality drinking water is essential for our health. About 87 percent of New Zealanders receive drinking water from local authorities (city, district and regional councils). Given the country's generous water resources and small population, our water supplies should be secure now and in the future – right?

Concerns have arisen that some local authorities are not well equipped to manage their water supplies. In response to these concerns, the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) audited a representative sample of eight local authorities: Tauranga City Council, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Kapiti Coast District Council, Opotiki District Council, Christchurch City Council, Central Otago District Council and South Taranaki District Council.

The audit found that, in managing water supplies to meet future demand:

  • three local authorities were performing effectively
  • three were performing adequately but could be doing better
  • two were performing poorly.