Water Demand Strategy

Check out our Water Demand Management Strategy, which outlines ways we can reduce water consumption and wastage.

Ways we can reduce water consumption and wastage are now addressed in our Water Demand Strategy, which was adopted by Council 19 September 2017.

We're reviewing our Water Demand Strategy and would like your input:

Since 2017 there have been changes to the water supply industry and water demand has continued to grow in our district. Combined with stringent resource consent conditions and ever-changing weather patterns it is appropriate to review and reset our initiatives on water demand management.

Our proposed Water Demand Strategy focuses on how water can be better managed to achieve a balance between supply and demand, and describes how Council and our communities can work together to manage water demand more effectively and efficiently.

Consultation closed on 30 October 2020. We will now collate all submissions and Council will review and adopt on the 8 December 2020.Water Demand Strategy banner

Highlights of the current strategy:

"The strategy is focused on encouraging responsible water use by customers, addressing leakage in our Council networks and encouraging households and businesses to take responsibility for leaks in their own systems," says Bruce Hinson, our Operations Group Manager. "This will be done through a number of initiatives including community education and provision of information on rainwater storage tanks."

The Strategy also recommends:

  • Continuing our policy of remitting large water consumption bills as a result of household leaks to those owners who are metered and subject to water pricing, as an incentive to utilise existing meters in order to identify and rectify leaks.
  • A programme of identifying water efficiency among large commercial water users and on Council-owned buildings, with a retrofit of leaky or inefficient fittings at the cost to the property owner.
  • Installation of network meters on all Council-operated water supplies so as to better identify leaks in the network which can then be repaired. The strategy identifies a total anticipated reduction of existing water use levels of 7% by 2021. The majority of this reduction is driven by better monitoring of leaks in Council's infrastructure, supported through network metering.

"This strategy reflects our Council's aspirations to reduce water consumption and wastage. Initiatives to reduce water consumption and wastage were included in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan and successive plans," says Mr Hinson.

In December 2019, our Council adopted the Water Supply Bylaw, which is intended to protect public health and the security of the public water supply. It also:

  • details the responsibilities of both our Council and its customers with respect to the public water supply;
  • defines different types of water supply;
  • details mechanisms for the recovery of water supply costs;
  • prevents wastage of water;
  • provides a mechanism for demand management;
  • details breaches and offences and provide a disputes procedure; and
  • enables sanitary assessments of water supplies to be conducted.

We operate 11 water supplies across 13 settlements and these supplies must be able to continue meeting the basic water supply needs of the communities connected to the supplies in times of high summer demand.


The Water Demand Strategy has been in development since our 2012-2022 Long Term Plan when alternatives to providing more water for peak periods was noted by the Council.

Two pilot investigations were conducted in Tairua and Whitianga to assist with the investigations in the strategy development phase.

A technical document was prepared by the consulting company Jacobs which has helped us look at how to manage water demand in our district.

Staff presented a workshop paper to Council on 20 April 2017 for a discussion around Council priorities for the water demand strategy, to inform development of a draft TCDC Water Demand Strategy.

On 29 May 2017 the Infrastructure Committee considered a draft strategy and provided feedback for staff. Since then revised modelling on expected water demand reductions has been included in the strategy alongside the estimated costs for undertaking identified initiatives.

For more information download the strategy on the top right-hand side of this page or click here.