CIF Project - Hawke's Bay Regional Strategic Water Demand and Availability Study

Grant No: 09/07

Last updated: October 2011

Contact details

Name of Applicant Group: Hawke's Bay Regional Council
Contact person: Bruce Corbett
Address: Private Bag 6006, Napier 4142
Telephone: 06 835 9204
Web update: www.hbrc.govt.nz
Email: bruce.corbett@hbrc.govt.nz

Project details

Status: In progress
CIF funding: $140,000
Total project funding: $280,000
Proposed start date: 2009-07
Proposed finish date: 2012-06
Region: Hawke's Bay

Project description

The purpose of this project in the Hawkes Bay region is to quantify water availability and potential water demand at a sub regional or catchment level, and identify possible strategies to optimise the available water.

The objectives of the project are: to have an understanding of the potential water demand for the region at a catchment level based on land use and climate change scenarios; to have an understanding of the availability of water at a catchment level based on land use and climate change scenarios; to identify possible strategies that will allow integrated water management that provides for potential water demand while meeting the community needs and aspirations.

The issue/opportunity

The Hawkes Bay economy is heavily reliant on primary production and associated processing activities and water is a critical input. There has been an increased demand for irrigation to sustain as well as to increase yields over recent years and this has put increasing pressure on the region's water resources, with considerable adverse media comment on water quality.

Recent droughts coupled with current market drivers (ability to guarantee annual supply of volume and quality parameters) have both resulted in a marked increase in irrigation demand. However, current resource and water management constraints mean this potential cannot be met.

Surface water resources are fully allocated in a number of catchments and the allocation of groundwater is on hold in many areas until groundwater and surface water interactions are better understood.

There is a need to assess how actual irrigation demand might change in the future and how current water resources might be affected by lower annual rainfall and increased drought frequency.

The context/background

Water resource management is the greatest challenge facing the summer dry areas of Hawke's Bay.

The Hawkes Bay region has a summer dry climate which is likely to become warmer and drier under the predicted impacts of climate change. Parts of the region are currently facing a third successive autumn drought, with significant economic and emotional impacts on some farmers.

This study is part of Council's strategic water programme to proactively address the water management issues in the region. The recent LTCCP process has developed an all inclusive water direction for Hawke's Bay, which explores opportunities for the improved sustainable management of the region's water resource. This includes research investigations, policy development and the investigation, development and implementation of win-win water management solutions.

A new team is to be established at Council to work on: developing a regional water strategy; storage investigations; working with irrigators for the uptake of water metering and telemetry, and the coordination of irrigators around localised water management systems. MAF funding has assisted Council to initiate an exploration of water harvesting options in the Ruataniwha Basin in Central Hawke's Bay, and across the Ngaruroro and Karamu water systems which feed into the Heretaunga Plains.

Methods

A project brief will be developed to carry out the study, and include the following deliverables:

  • Methodology report;
  • Interim water availability report;
  • Interim water demand report;
  • Catchment strategy reports;
  • Facilitation of catchment groups;
  • Final report.

Project Update: June 2012

During this reporting period HBRC completed the work detailed in the supply, demand, and response strategies proposal. Please note that this proposal had 4 phases  -  Phase 1, Assessment of Water Availability; Phase 2, Assessment of Actual and Potential Water Demand; Phase 3, Comparison of Water Availability and Demand; and Phase 4,  Response Strategies.

In March 2012, Page Bloomer Associates (who were awarded the contract to complete Phase 2) finalised the Actual and Potential Water Demand Report.

Aspects of all of the reports completed throughout the duration of this project were used to help with the final determination of allocation.

In April 2012, a Hydrologist was employed by HBRC on a fixed term contract, to help deliver the remainder of the project (complete Phase 1, 3 and 4 of the supply and Demand Proposal).   To begin, the contractor completed three reports - Tutaekuri Instream Flows Assessment, Estimating Permitted Water Use in HB, and the Karamu Catchment Characterisation. These reports along with other technical reports were used to complete Phase 3 and 4. All four phases have now been collated into one report titled "Hawke's Bay Regional Water Demand and Availability Study". This report describes the methodology behind and results of the compilation of hydrological information for all catchments in the region, estimates the potential demand for water for each catchment, compares the two to show where significant gaps lie, and outlines possible response strategies.

Community engagement and the facilitation of catchment groups (Milestone 5) has progressed in a number of areas throughout Hawke's Bay. Water related community groups/catchment groups have continued to meet on a regular basis to discuss water related matters. This has enabled Council to feed information to them and use them as a spring board on various water related issues.  Support for facilitation of Water User Groups has been included in Councils Long Term Plan 2012-2, and will therefore continue indefinitely.

Community engagement has strengthened by the release of monthly State of our Environment Reports throughout this reporting period. These reports summarise the regions rainfall, river flows, groundwater, water quality, soil moisture levels, etc. and will aid the community to get a better picture of the state of our environment.

Project Update: February 2012

During this reporting period HBRC progressed phases 1 and 2 of the supply and demand proposal Please note there are 4 phases which make up this proposal -  Phase 1, Assessment of Water Availability; Phase 2, Assessment of Actual and Potential Water Demand; Phase 3, Comparison of Water Availability and Demand; and Phase 4,  Response Strategies.

In February 2012, Page Bloomer Associates (who were awarded the contract to complete Phase 2) used Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Technical information to complete the final Draft of the Actual and Potential Water Demand Report. It is anticipated that this report will be finalised in March 2012.

HBRC are working towards the completion of phase 1 and will compare this work with Page Bloomer associates Actual and Potential Demand report in the next reporting period (Phase 3). The comparison of the Water Availability and Demand reports will help guide the development of response strategies (Phase 4). It is anticipated that external stakeholders and experts will assist with these strategies.

To date, technical information to finish phase 1 (Milestone 2), the water availability component of the project, is nearing completion in the remaining high pressure areas (Tutaekuri, Karamu and Esk catchments).

Ecological Terrestrial Assessments of River Corridors are progressing in Ngaruroro and Tutaekuri catchments (to be completed in September 2012). Aspects of this study (along with Ecological studies already completed for the Tukituki and Karamu catchments) will help with the final determination of allocation.

Community engagement and the facilitation of catchment groups (Milestone 5) is continuing to progress in a number of areas throughout Hawke's Bay. 

Water related community groups/catchment groups (Milestone 5) are continuing to meet on a regular basis to discuss water related matters. Twyford and Ngaruroro Water Users have met during this reporting period, which has enabled Council to feed information to them and use them as a spring board on various water related issues. 

Steps for community engagement to develop a water strategy are progressing.  As a result of the 2010 Water Symposium, key themes for a water strategy were identified and 22 people from a range of backgrounds were appointed to develop a Draft Regional Land and Water Strategy. This strategy was adopted by Council at the end of October 2011 and will feed into the development of the catchment strategies (Milestone 4).

During this reporting period, Hawke's Bay Regional Council hosted the Land and Water Symposium 2011 to formally launch the Regional Land and Water Strategy. The purpose of this symposium was to continue to develop a shared understanding of the region's current and emerging land and water issues; discuss how the Strategy was developed – who was involved, how decisions were made, and how the group learned from each other along the way; develop an understanding of where the Strategy sits in Council's planning framework and how it will impact future decisions; and discuss and critique the content of the Strategy – what people liked, what they thought was missing and where they thought more attention was needed. A wide range of people and perspectives helped make the symposium a successful event. Approximately 125 participants, including HBRC staff, came to the event representing around 35 different organisations.

Community engagement has also been strengthened by the decision to release State of our Environment Reports monthly, as well as annually. The monthly reports summarise the regions rainfall, river flows, groundwater, water quality, soil moisture levels etc. and will help the community to get a better picture of the state of our environment.


Project Update: October 2011

Throughout this reporting period HBRC staff revised and finalised the Supply and Demand Proposal. It is important to note that this proposal will aid the development of the Water Supply, Water Demand and Catchment Strategy Reports. There are 4 phases which make up this proposal. Phase 1 – Assessment of Water Availability; Phase 2 – Assessment of Actual and Potential Water Demand; Phase 3 – Comparison of Water Availability and Demand; Phase 4 – Response Strategies.

In August 2011, it was decided that the different components of the supply and demand proposal would be divvied up between experts. HBRC decided that phase 1and 3 would be completed in-house and phase 2 would be completed by a consultant with the assistance of HBRC. It was also decided that phase 4 would be HBRC led, but would involve external stakeholders and experts to identify response plans.

In September 2011, Page Bloomer Associates were awarded with the Phase 2 - Assessment of Actual and Potential Water Demand contract. Using Hawke's Bay Regional Councils Technical information, Page Bloomer Associates will collate and assess Actual and Potential Water Demand in Hawke's Bay. This report is due for completion in December 2011.

Technical information for all 4 phases of this report is continuously being collected. To date, technical information to finish phase 1 (Milestone 2), the water availability component of the project, has been completed in Tukituki and Ngaruroro catchments and is nearing completion in other high pressure areas (Tutaekuri, Karamu and Esk catchments).

Draft Ecological Terrestrial Assessments of River Corridors have been completed for the Tukituki and Karamu catchments and will help with the final determination of allocation. Similar studies have also been completed in the Ngaruroro Catchment and currently being completed in the Tutaekuri Catchment, however this work has only occurred within Council managed flood and drainage areas. It is expected that studies in the remainder of the Ngaruroro and Tutaekuri catchments (area outside the flood and drainage zones) will be completed by September 2012.

Technical information completed during this reporting period was presented to HBRC's Environment Management Committee on August 10 2011 and October 12 2011. Topics presented at the Committee meetings included 'Ruataniwha Groundwater Model Scenarios' and the 'Hawke's Bay Land and Water Management Strategy' respectively.

Community engagement and the facilitation of catchment groups (Milestone 5) is continuing to progress in a number of areas throughout Hawke's Bay.

During this reporting period, the Water Strategy External Reference Group helped develop a Draft Regional Strategy for Land and Water. This document was adopted by Council in October 2011 and is currently being printed. This Strategy will feed into the development of the catchment strategies (Milestone 4).

Water related community groups/catchment groups (Milestone 5) are continuing to meet on a regular basis to discuss water related matters. These meetings have enabled Council to feed information to them and use them as a spring board on various water related issues.


Project Update: June 2011

In December 2010, Aqualinc were asked to work in accordance with the methodology report to develop a supply and demand proposal, which would deliver the balance of this project. In April 2011, HBRC received Aqualinc's first draft and in May 2011, HBRC staff revised and finalised the proposal. HBRC is still deciding what components of the supply and demand proposal should be completed by a consultant and what should be completed in-house, however it is anticipated that this arrangement will be finalised in August 2011.

A permitted baseline water use assessment for the Hawke's Bay Region has been conducted. This desktop study used existing methods (developed by Environment Waikato) to assess the amount of water that is allocated for domestic and stock water across the region. This report is currently under review; however HBRC anticipates that it will be available for release in July 2011.

The facilitation of catchment groups (Milestone 5) has progressed in a number of areas throughout Hawke's Bay. This includes the establishment of water user groups in Ngaruroro, Ruataniwha, Twyford and more recently in Bay View.

The Reference Group set up following the Water Symposium has had four meetings to date (28 February 2011; 21 March 2011; 11 April 2011; 1 June 2011) which have been attended by Council staff and Councillors. The group has agreed on its vision, guiding principles and evaluation criteria and has drafted objectives, policy approaches and possible actions for Regional Governance, Water Allocation and Water Demand and Supply. The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management was reviewed in meeting four. In response, Council is integrating Land Use and Water Quality parameters into a draft Regional Strategy for Land and Water which the group will review at its next meeting in August 2011.

Project Update: February 2011

Hawke's Bay Regional Council staff are creating a framework to develop and implement integrated water management (catchment and regional strategies). This project forms part of the integrated water management framework, which includes community engagement, determination of the water resource, and self audited community led management.

The first step of this project was to engage with a consultant to complete the methodology report (Milestone 1). Aqualinc was appointed by HBRC to do this, and the report was completed in March 2010.

In December 2010, Aqualinc were asked to develop a proposal to assist and deliver the balance of this project. Aqualinc will work in accordance with the methodology report to develop the proposal and as soon as it is completed, HBRC will decide what components of the proposal they accept. It is anticipated that this arrangement will be finalised in March 2011.

Technical information for this project is continuously being collected (see section 2, milestone progress). To date, technical information to finish the water supply component of the project is nearing completion in high pressure areas (Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro, Karamu, Tukituki and Esk catchments). Ecological terrestrial assessments of the river corridors are currently being completed for the Tukituki and Karamu catchments and will help in the final determination of allocation. Preliminary work has also been completed on the Tutaekuri and Ngaruroro catchments.

Completed technical information relating to this project has been presented to HBRC's Environment Management Committee in both September 2010 and November 2010. Projects presented included the security of water supply, Ruataniwha groundwater allocation, and assessments on the hydrological requirements of fish under different protection criteria.

The water demand aspect of this project has progressed in the Ngaruroro, Ruataniwha and Tutaekuri catchments, specifically on existing irrigated areas and potential irrigable areas. Potential water storage required for drought security has also been investigated in the Ngaruroro and Ruataniwha catchments.

The facilitation of catchment groups (Milestone 5) has progressed in a number of areas throughout Hawke's Bay. This includes the establishment of water user groups in Ngaruroro, Ruataniwha and Twyford and also the development of leadership and stakeholder groups in the Ruataniwha catchment. This milestone has been brought in at the start of the project, to ensure that catchment management strategies meet stakeholder and community expectations.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council and local stakeholders have worked together to determine the kayaking and angling values of key Hawke's Bay rivers. This work has been completed and additional work on values to underpin allocation scenarios is now underway. The Regional Council intends to participate in the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology funded Integrated Valuation and Monitoring Framework for improved Freshwater Outcomes project. Amongst other things, this project will investigate ways of balancing different value sets and identify possible ways to prioritise or assess multi-value catchments.

Steps for community engagement to develop a water strategy have been taken. Hawke's Bay Regional Council facilitated the Regional Water Symposium on 30 November – 1 December 2010, which will help to formulate the strategic direction for water management in Hawke's Bay. The Regional Water Symposium was a key opportunity to discuss water allocation and allow attendees to contribute their views towards planning for a better future. Key people attended the Symposium which included sector and water user representatives as well as central and local government. Attendees considered what actions they could take to ensure water is used effectively and efficiently, and brought their strategies and solutions to the table for consideration and incorporation.

As a result of the Water Symposium, key themes for a water strategy were identified and 22 people from a range of backgrounds were appointed to be part of the Water Strategy External Reference Group (WSERG). The WSERG had its first meeting February 28th 2010 and will continue to contribute to a strategy to manage Hawke's Bays water resources.

Project Update:  October 2010

Hawke's Bay Regional Council staff are creating a framework to develop and implement integrated water management (catchment and regional strategies). This project forms part of the integrated water management framework, which includes community engagement, determination of the water resource, and self audited community led management.

The first step of this project was to engage with a consultant to complete the methodology report. Aqulinc was appointed by HBRC to do this, and the report was completed in March 2010. Aqualinc will now work in accordance with the methodology framework they developed, to assist and deliver the balance of the project, however this contract is to be finalised in November 2010.

Technical information for this project is continuously being collected. To date, technical information to finish the water supply component of the project is nearing completion in high pressure areas (Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro and Tukituki catchments), and is progressing in low pressure catchment areas (Esk and Karamu catchments).

Completed technical information relating to this project has been presented to HBRC's Environment Management Committee in September 2010, and a number of items have also been placed on the Environment Management Committee agenda for November 2010.

The water demand aspect of this project has progressed in the Ngaruroro, Ruataniwha and Tutaekuri catchments, specifically on existing irrigated areas and potential irrigable areas. Potential water storage required for drought security has also been investigated in the Ngaruroro and Ruataniwha catchments. 

The facilitation of catchment groups has progressed in a number of areas throughout Hawke's Bay. This includes the establishment of water user groups in Ngaruroro, Ruataniwha and Twyford and also the development of leadership and stakeholder groups in the Ruataniwha catchment. This milestone has been brought in at the start of the project, to ensure that catchment management strategies meet stakeholder and community expectations.

Steps for community engagement to develop a water strategy have been taken.  Hawke's Bay Regional Council is facilitating the Regional Water Symposium on 30 November – 1 December 2010, which will help formulate the strategic direction for water management in Hawke's Bay. The Regional Water Symposium is a key opportunity to discuss water allocation and allow attendees to contribute their views toward planning for a better future. Sector and water user representatives will be joined by central and local government to work together to maximize the benefits for Hawke's Bay as a region. Discussions surrounding the main issues will take place and different perspectives will be heard. Key people will be present to consider what actions they can take to ensure water is used effectively and efficiently, and to bring their strategies and solutions to the table for consideration and incorporation. The desired outcome of this Symposium is to identify the key themes for the Action Plan, and to identify taskforce members who will progress the Action Plan.

Project Update:  June 2010

Documentation is proceeding to understand the structure and dynamics of the catchments groundwater and surface water bodies.

Consultants have been contracted to draft the naturalised flows report.  The completion of this report has been held up due to workload, and will be completed on the larger rivers by 30 September, 2010.
Science work programmes were disseminated as part of the annual plan communications process.  Science representation and updates at a catchment level has commenced across six liaison committees of farmers/growers, with two of these groups interfacing with a multi-stakeholder group. Each of these committees/groups has the common focus of a collaborative approach to improved water management.

Cross-council work required to integrate the Methodology report with Council’s internal work programme, and advance steps for overarching water strategy.

Project update: February 2010

The methodology report describes a framework for developing strategies for integrated water management, including community engagement and self-audited community-led management. The project framework includes process and supporting data and tools for: development of water availability time series throughout the region given measured climate data and climate-change projections, quantifying land-use impacts on water quality, and identifying water and land-use management issues to inform integrated water management strategies.

 

Last Updated: 21 August 2012

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