Chris Lynch: Chch Council shouldn't blame residents for water woes

Chris Lynch,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 Nov 2020, 2:03PM

Chris Lynch: Chch Council shouldn't blame residents for water woes

Chris Lynch,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 Nov 2020, 2:03PM

Christchurch residents are being asked to save water.

It's not that we're using too much, it's more to do with the city's underground pipes leaking billions of litres of water.

The council confirmed to me it might impose city-wide water restrictions "unless residents change the way they use water outdoors".

But here's why.

11.64 billion litres of water was lost last year because of leaky pipes.

420 kilometres of pipes are in such poor condition they are expected to fail in the next year.

In October, the council received 1564 service requests regarding leaky pipes.

Surprisingly, there is no specific budget for leaks.

Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont said the $2.2 billion SCIRT programme included only repair or replacement of earthquake damaged pipes, but not for pipes that were expected to fail within five years.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the focus has been getting drinking water up to an acceptable government standard to help get chlorine out of our water supply.

But we still have chlorine? So what's going on?

This isn't actually the mayor's fault or problem.

Remember when chlorine was supposed to be out of water supply?

Then we were told the goal-posts changed.

The mixed messaging from both the council and the Government is a mess, and there's only real one reason for it.

They don't want to tell you bad news.

So they drip-feed, excuse the pun, and slow-release information.

But make no mistake, it's all part of the strategy to confuse you, while various agendas are ramped through without many of us knowing.

We could be in for a dry summer, that's true, and we might need to ease off a bit.

But what is the council's responsibly when it comes to basic core-critical infrastructure?

It is entirely their responsibly.

One reason we don't hear much about the underground infrastructure is because it's just not sexy enough to talk about.

Chucking ten million dollars of rate-payer money at the cathedral is far more interesting, or so they think, or cutting ribbons on vacant the land where a stadium might go.

The Christchurch City Council says it's invested $572 million in improving transport and Three Waters infrastructure.

And a lot of work has been completed. But quit your reports and workshops.

It's obvious; a functioning 21st-century city needs decent infrastructure and when it does fail, don't blame residents.