Gore eyes upgrade to water network
Proposed lignite developments around Gore have prompted the council to look at securing a new water supply, but some councillors say the existing facilities should be patched up first.
Gore's water supply, which comes from Coopers Well and Jacobstown bores, already has problems meeting supply requirements in times of high demand.
Gore District general manager district assets Paul Withers said the council wanted to capture an extra 5000 cubic metres of water a day to cater for more people.
The proposed lignite developments are expected to draw more residents and commercial developments to the area, he said.
The Mataura River would be the "most likely" source and water could be harvested and stored for drier times, he said.
A budget of $188,000 has been set aside for a water strategy and is expected to be completed by June 30 next year.
Meanwhile, the Gore water network has a leakage rate of 40 per cent, which is 20 per cent above the normal rate.
Councillor Graham Sharp said "maximum urgency" should be placed on finding and stopping the leaks, which would help alleviate the need to find a new water supply.
The leaks could account for a loss of up to 50 per cent of water, he said. "There must be a massive lake somewhere."
As part of a leak detection programme, the council wants to install four water meters that cost about $15,000 each.
Councillor Cliff Bolger said there was a need to maximise delivery from bores, stop the leakage and implement meters.
"We need to use what infrastructure we've got; we've got no choice," he said.
The council's operations committee will report back to the council with a view to improving existing facilities, scoping options for a water strategy and district metering.
The Southland Times