Water meters considered to meet future demands
Hamilton City Council has given the strongest commitment yet to universal water meters after a report on the city's growing future water demands.
The council is juggling growing demand for a finite treated water supply, with efforts to conserve, and the huge cost of new water infrastructure.
A report to the council's strategy and policy committee has outlined long-term water demand issues for Hamilton, and approaches to manage its future demand, and defer any major capital expenditure for as long as possible.
The council agreed to consider water metering of all properties as a suitable water demand management measure, and to evaluate the best timing to introduce residential water metering. Commercial and industrial users, which use 40 per cent of the city's water, already pay through metering.
The report follows previous commitments to water management work across the city, such as leak detection and loss management programmes to supplement Hamilton's existing water conservation programmes.
It also outlined longer term scenarios to bolster the city's dependence on the Waikato River for its drinking water, including the need for a second treatment plant about 2040, most likely drawing from the Waipa River.
Committee chairman Maria Westphal said the Waikato River was under "immense" pressure to supply water and the city needed to play its part.
"Council has given an important signal that we will be considering water metering for all, as part of a range of measures to manage water demand, availability and security of supply in the long-term," said Mrs Westphal.