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Upper Hutt Leader : June 8th 2011
24 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JUNE 8, 2011 Waterways that are suitable for swimming and free from sediment with good habitats for fish and insects... ... a region where you can hear birdsong... these are a few of the things the community expects from good natural resource management. Last year almost 500 people attended 16 public workshops on natural resource management, while another 800 responded to an online survey. The workshops and survey were the first stage in developing a new regional plan to look after the region's air, water, soil, biodiversity, coast and landscape. Further workshops are planned for later this year. Spartina (Spartina spp.) is an aquatic plant that can grow up to 1 metre tall in salt or fresh water. It is usually found in estuaries, salt marshes, wetlands and stream edges. This cord-like grass has leaves that can vary in colour from yellow to green and brown, and has flowers that are tiny flattened spikes. Spartina has extensive underwater/ground creeping stems and causes sediment build-up in waterways, increasing the risk of flooding. It displaces native aquatic species by competing with them for light, nutrients and space. Seen it? Contact us: 0800 496 734 firstname.lastname@example.org Welcome to Our Region -- the Greater Wellington Regional Council's quarterly magazine. Your feedback is appreciated -- 0800 496 734 or email@example.com How healthy is your home fire? Home fires are great for keeping you warm in winter but they can cause air pollution, which has a direct effect on people's health. Smoke from home fires has high levels of fine particles which end up in the air that we breathe. This can trigger or worsen asthma and can lead to heart disease. Tips to stay warm and reduce air pollution: • Wrap up your house. Financial assistance for home insulation and clean heating can be repaid through your rates. See www.gw.govt.nz/warmer-gw • Fires should burn hot and fast. A smouldering fire gives off more pollution • Use dry wood in your wood burner. This will give more heat and cause less pollution • Never burn treated wood or household rubbish. These products can give off hazardous substances Greater Wellington monitors air quality around the region. For more sustainability tips: www.gw.govt.nz/bethedifference Spartina Your environment -- your view Kids for coastal conservation Tuturumuri School is one of three south Wairarapa schools growing coastal plants for a conservation project at Cape Palliser. The exposed and rugged landscape around Cape Palliser is the southern most part of the Wellington region and home to several rare native plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions, including the native renga renga lily. Greater Wellington's Chair Fran Wilde and Wairarapa Councillor Gary McPhee visited the school in autumn to help pupils plant mature renga renga and sow eco-sourced seed to be raised in the school nursery. The school is involved in Greater Wellington's Take Action programme where pupils learn about native biodiversity and taking environmental action in their community. Pupils have set up a native garden to encourage lizards, planted many native trees around the school and run a flourishing vegetable garden. Pirinoa and Martinborough schools are also raising plants for the project. For a copy of the report on the results of last year's regional plan workshops and survey, see: www.gw.govt.nz/workshop-report Students from Tuturumuri School take a break from the nursery with Greater Wellington's Chair Fran Wilde and Wairarapa Councillor Gary McPhee. Seated from left: Cole Innes, Cr Fran Wilde, Peta Aarsen, Drew Tayles, Flora Elworthy and Cr Gary McPhee Greater Wellington is upgrading the Stuart Macaskill water storage lakes in Te Marua to improve their strength in an earthquake and increase their capacity The upgrade is an important and timely project, says Councillor Nigel Wilson, Chair of Greater Wellington's Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee. "Now, more than ever, we know that the resilience of our water supply system is crucial for the community's recovery after a major earthquake. There'll be less stored water while the lakes are being upgraded "We also know that the population in the region's four cities is growing, so it makes sense to increase our water reserves, along with encouraging more water conservation. Greater Wellington has done a lot of work investigating future water supply options and this is a key project to increase our stored water capacity." The upgrade project began earlier this year and will take up to four years, requiring the southern lake to be empty this summer (2011/12), and the northern lake to be empty in summer 2012/13. A lake may be out of service in summer 2013/14 if construction is delayed. Greater Wellington's Utilities and Services General Manager Murray Kennedy says that there will be less stored water available while the upgrade work is underway and this could affect supply, particularly in a dry summer. Greater Wellington is working with the region's four city councils to prepare summer water conservation measures. Q&A Where does our water supply come from? Greater Wellington supplies treated bulk water to the Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington city councils. Most of this water comes from rivers and an aquifer (underground water) but in the summer, when water use typically goes up, water is needed from stored sources -- this is when the Stuart Macaskill storage lakes are normally used. How much will the upgrade project increase the storage lakes' capacity? The Stuart Macaskill storage lakes currently have a combined capacity of 3,000 million litres (ML). Upgrading the lakes will increase their capacity by 13%, providing 400ML more water (400ML would meet the estimated daily water use of 140,000 households for 4-5 days). This will allow us to use stored water from the lakes for longer periods when our rivers and the aquifer are under pressure during summer. Will we have less stored water during the upgrade? We'll start this summer with just under half our normal amount of stored water for Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington. Will residents of Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington need to save water? We'll probably need the community to reduce its water use during spring and summer, particularly if it's dry. Closer to summer we'll let you know how to prepare for drier conditions. During the summer we'll update you on how much water we have and what everyone can do so that there's enough for essential uses. Greater Wellington is upgrading the Stuart Macaskill water storage lakes in Te Marua Water supply upgrade begins
June 1st 2011
June 15th 2011