Councils bring back new ideas from forum

New ideas and information about water supply, demand and treatment are being brought back to Southland by district and city council representatives who attended the Water New Zealand Annual Conference in Rotorua.

Invercargill City Council drainage manager Malcolm Loan, who attended last week's conference, said the event was a good opportunity for southern councils to share information with northern counterparts.

There were presentations on many technical issues such as system renewals and new ways of dealing with things like sludge management, Mr Loan said.

The conference also attracted more than 150 companies and industry representatives.

"As other local bodies have representatives here it provides a good opportunity for information swapping with other councils," Mr Loan said.

Southland District Council water and waste assets manager Ian Evans said two district council representatives attended and it would provide useful information which could be used in Southland.

Environment Southland executive and human resources co-ordinator Jan Brown said they had not sent anyone this year.

This year's conference theme was the economic benefits a world wide water deficit could hold for New Zealand.

Water New Zealand president Clive Rundle said one third of the world struggled with water deficits while the rest was only years away from a food crisis caused by an increasing demand for land and water coupled with a shortage of both.

New Zealand was water-rich with technologies and the climate to produce high quality food, which would be beneficial as prices rose and a greater proportion of household income was spent on food, he said.

Among the topics discussed were waste water issues, water management and water quality, best practice and innovation.

Gordon Kilkerr is a SIT journalism student

The Southland Times