Downlands Water Supply Policy

1.0    Purpose

The Downlands Water Supply Scheme is jointly owned and is the responsibility of the Timaru District Council (TDC), Waimate District Council and Mackenzie District Council. This policy for the Downlands Water Supply Scheme is to ensure that management of the scheme is consistent, operations are efficient and community outcomes are successfully achieved.

2.0    Background

In 1937, the Ministry of Works was authorised to construct and maintain the Downlands Water Supply Scheme. In November 1960 the Minister of Works vested ownership and control of the Scheme to the Levels, Geraldine, Mackenzie and Waimate County Councils. By process of local authority amalgamation, the present owners of the Downlands Water Supply Scheme and the proportion within each territorial authority jurisdiction are Timaru District (82%), Waimate District (14%) and Mackenzie District (4%). To ensure effective governance of the Downlands Water Supply Scheme, the three Councils agreed to form the Downlands Joint Standing Committee, with TDC appointed as the Downlands Scheme Manager.

The entire scheme administered by the committee includes the communities known within the Register of Community Drinking-Water Supplies as Downlands, Hadlow, Pareora and St Andrews.

The Downlands Water Supply Scheme is primarily a stock water scheme which also supplies domestic drinking water to rural properties within the scheme boundaries. At present, the Downlands Water Supply Scheme supplies about 78,000 hectares within the Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie Districts. There were 2,748 connections to the scheme in 2014.

The Downlands Joint Standing Committee is responsible for developing and recommending strategies, policies and procedures necessary to assist TDC in fulfilling its responsibilities as Downlands Scheme Manager.

Policies for the Downlands Water Supply Scheme were developed over many years. In 2003, the Downlands Committee reviewed the policies, with recommendations made to rescind policies that were no longer relevant, amend and amalgamate policies in a logical manner.  The recommendations were approved in the meeting of the Committee on 17 March 2004. Thereafter, a few other revisions were effected. Polices have again been reviewed and updated in November 2015 and January 2016.

3.0    Key Definitions

  • stock water -  stock drinking water
  • potable supply – domestic drinking water
  • water allocation – the limit or amount of water that has been authorised for consumption by a property connected to the Downlands Water Supply Scheme

4.0    Policy

The following provisions developed and agreed to by the Downlands Joint Standing Committee govern the administration of the Downlands Water Supply Scheme in the following areas of operation:

Water Allocation1

1. The Downlands Water Supply is a restricted water supply scheme based on units of supply of 1000 litres per day, excluding residential zone properties within Pareora and St Andrews townships which may not be restricted.

2. That the design allocation for a property be based on 56 litres per hectare per day, with an additional 900 litres per dwelling per day where this allocation has been approved.

3. That the minimum allocation be 1 unit and that all allocations be in half unit increments to 3 units and thereafter in full unit increments.

4. That where the design allocation of a property exceeds the midway point between allocations, the allocation be rounded up, and where the design allocation of the property is less than the midway point between allocations, the allocation be rounded down, except that properties of 4 – 6.5 hectares with a house be rounded up to 1.5 units.

5. That the allocation to schools be 1 unit per 20 persons, that the allocation to halls be 1 unit per 20 people licensed to use the hall, and the allocation to sports clubs be 2 units of water.

6. That the allocation of water for business and extra ordinary stock purposes be at the discretion of the Committee.

7. That no water over and above the design allocation for a property be available for horticultural purposes.

8. That a new connection or additional sale of water can only be approved provided the allocation does not impact on the design and operation of the scheme.

9. That any approval for water allocation which is not given effect to within a 12 month period will be rescinded, unless a time extension is approved.

Water Allocation with Subdivisions

10. That all properties must retain the stock water allocation as first priority except when a proven alternative supply of equivalent allocation is available.

11. That where a property is subdivided and water is unavailable for stock water to all new titles, then the stock water will be retained on the larger blocks.

12. That for a dwelling with a water allocation, the allocation be retained for the dwelling unless an alternative potable supply is available for the dwelling, provided a Consent Notice is registered on the title which notifies that the dwelling water supply is private.

13. That any excess water units from a property allocation as a result of subdivision of that property are distributed over the subdivided property with preference for increasing the allocation from 1.0 to 1.5 units for land of 4 to 15 ha sections without a dwelling.

14. That where a property is subdivided and remains in the ownership of a single entity, the water for each lot may be supplied to a single tank within the subdivided land, provided a Consent Notice is registered on each title advising how much water each lot is entitled, and if any lot changes ownership that allocation shall be physically separated from the parent lot; and

That the storage requirement to the single tank is a minimum of three times the allocation supplied to the tank or 10,000 litres whichever is the greater.

Storage Requirements2

15. That all water must be supplied into an external above ground storage tank.

16. That 10,000 litres or three days allocation whichever is the greater be the minimum storage capacity requirement. This excludes Pareora and St Andrews townships, and all halls, which must have 2000 litres minimum storage capacity. .

17. That the allocation to a property of less than 10 ha with one dwelling can only be reduced to 1.0 unit if storage of 10,000 litres exists and water supply is supplemented by separate independent rainwater storage of 22,500 litres, and that this information is recorded on the appropriate Council property databases.

18. That approved external level indication of water in storage tanks is to be installed.

19. That the outlet piping arrangement from the storage tank be such that a minimum of 20% of the tank volume be held in reserve.

Maintenance

20. That the Downlands Water Supply Scheme be responsible for the scheme up to and including the ballcock at the point of supply, except where the supply is to an internal tank, or where the top of the tank is over 6.5 metres high, the scheme responsibility ceases at the restrictor, or at the toby for properties which are not restricted.

21. That the maintenance of the filter and frost plug within the restrictor unit is the responsibility of the consumer.

22. That no connection or take of water prior to the storage tank is permitted.

Fees and Charges

23. Where an existing additional tank was required as a result of geographical or scheme hydraulic reasons, this tank may be exempt from the service fee.

24. That a service application fee be charged for applications for additional connections and additional water as described in the annual fees and charges.

25. That a capital contribution be charged for each new connection as described in the annual fees and charges.

26. That a capital contribution be charged for each additional unit of water as described in the annual fees and charges.

27. That a fee be charged for any alteration of the jet as described in the annual fees and charges.

28.  That fees be determined by the Committee and reassessed regularly.


1 Policy 4 shall be applicable to new, altered or upgraded connections

2 Policies 15, 16, 18 and 19 shall be applicable to new, altered or upgraded connections.


Adopted District Services Committee 22 March 2016