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Te Whanganui a Tara – Staggeringly, New Zealand is facing significant water issues and government commissioned reports just announced suggest Aotearoa needs urgent water infrastructure reform.

Climate change is disrupting weather patterns, leading to extreme weather events.

Extreme global weather events are making it more difficult to access safe drinking water. The issue of water has never been more apparent than the massive and once in a 100 year direcord sastrous and unprecdented floods in Canterbury.

Around 74 per cent of global natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were water-related, including droughts and floods. The frequency and intensity of such events are increasing with climate change.

Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect children’s health and save their lives. Using water more efficiently and transitioning to solar powered water systems will reduce greenhouse gases and further protect children’s futures.

The New Zealand government’s expectation is that the reforms are estimated to deliver a $14billion to $23billion increase in GDP. They will support the creation of 5900 to 9300 additional new jobs.

New analysis of Aotearoa’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure provides New Zealanders with a clear picture of the urgent problems and highlights the economic benefits to tackling them.

Between $120billion and $185billion is needed over the next 30 years to ensure New Zealanders’ drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure meets acceptable public health and environmental standards.

Jacinda Ardern’s government is working with local government and iwi on a proposal to combine the country’s 67 council-owned and managed water service providers into a small number of publicly owned providers.

In July 2020, the government launched the Three Waters Reform Programme – a three-year programme to reform local government water service delivery.

Local government is facing urgent challenges in the provision of water services such as funding infrastructure deficits, complying with safety standards and environmental expectations, building resilience to natural hazards and climate change into three waters networks, and supporting growth.

Watch this space….