The push for water meters to be installed in every home in Wellington to prevent future shortages has been labelled a “no brainer” by one of the region’s mayors, while another has described it as “false hope”.
A Wellington Water report recommended the region spend $144 million on infrastructure which would allow it to record and report on residents’ daily-water usage, in a bid to encourage residents to save water and prevent drought-like shortages
Without introducing water meters, water usage was expected to exceed drought-level supply by 2026 based on current consumption, the amount of water lost to leaks and projected population growth, the Ernst Young and Beca report warned.
This doesn’t affect me directly as I live on a property with no mains supply, so we live off two 30,000 litre tanks. When you face having to pay money to top up your water, you definitely conserve it far more. We are constantly doing things to conserve water. I’m one of the few who loves it when it rains as our tanks get filled up.
We even now have an Internet connected sensor in our water tank that through an app tells us how full the tanks are, and can alert us to any leaks.
If people know how much water they are using, and pay for what they use, they use less.
Kāpiti Coast District Council introduced water metering and charging in 2014 and saw a 26 per cent drop in overall water use over the following year with two-thirds of homes in the district ending up paying less for water under the metering system.
Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan said: “It’s inevitable that other councils come on board. It’s an absolute no brainer.”
South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said it was “inevitable” that the wider Wellington region would eventually follow his district’s lead on water meters as without such a measure Wellington could end up in the same boat as Auckland, which has been in the throes of drought since 2019.
It really is a no brainer