City Waste Water – Long term planning

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Lewis Mumford’s book The Culture of Cities (1938) states: ‘It became important to distribute pure water, for the sake of health, whether or not a particular family wanted it or could afford it. Such matters could no longer be left to whim. These facts held equally true of the systems for disposing of garbage, waste, and sewage’. (p. 424)

In 2015 A number of councilor’s had high hopes that placing waste water into a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) there would be a possible savings as flagged in Cranleigh report (part B). ‘The reduction in customer water and waste water charges is estimated at between $96m (7.5%) and $124m (9.7%) in the first ten years (p41) … Reduction in capital spending of between $41m and $68m in the first ten years’ (p51). In the first five years of the 2018-28 long term plan, capital spending for wastewater jumped $125m above the information the Cranleigh report based its calculations on, wiping out any of those protential savings.

The above image is from page 32 of ‘Three Waters – Elected Member Briefing 16 March 2020
Showing boundary-less planning, with the intention of ‘siting industrial activity around resource recovery centres to maximise water re-use’ (p. 30)

‘Water had become too much a matter of public concern in big cities to be left to the supply of water companies’ (Mumford p. 424). The approach of Watercare Auckland (drought) and Wellington Water (wastewater failure) has shown that having a business ‘aim to deliver services and operations at the lowest cost’ (Cranleigh p. 22) has added an extra layer of bureaucracy, once removed from political leadership, but still totally politicians’ core responsibility.

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