Trial to advance knowledge of aquifer

GDC seeks resource consent to drill up to three test bores and inject a maximum of 100,000 cubic metres of water into aquifer.

GDC seeks resource consent to drill up to three test bores and inject a maximum of 100,000 cubic metres of water into aquifer.

THE managed Makauri aquifer recharge injection trial will provide key advances in the knowledge of the aquifer, a panel of independent commissioners was told yesterday.

Gisborne District Council is seeking resource consent to drill up to three test bores and inject a maximum of 100,000 cubic metres of water into the aquifer in a trial expected to take three months.

The council is seeking a change to the proposed conditions for the consent to increase the rate of water taken from the Waipaoa River and the rate that is injected into the aquifer from a maximum of 15 litres per second at any time to 22.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is processing the application and the staff recommendation is that it be granted subject to a package of consents.

The council’s water and coastal resources team leader Dennis Crone said the trial would provide key advances in knowledge of the aquifer and the responses that would be observed from replenishment by injection.

The project had followed robust processes of transparency, collaboration and use of the world’s best practitioners.

Some adaptive management remained to be completed but this could be expected, as investors in the project could not proceed until a resource consent had been obtained.

Funders had provided a robust management plan and details of this would be developed in more detail after the consent had been granted.

Main ingredients identified

The key ingredients of monitoring had been identified and it was his opinion that the consent conditions as proposed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, with some minor amendments by the applicant, would allow the trial to proceed with a low level of risk that would be very well managed.

Mr Crone said the trial would stop after the first 10,000 cubic metres had been extracted and there would be a three-month assessment period.

Commissioner Peter Callender said it could be beneficial to have conditions added that would protect other users of the aquifer.

The worst situation would be if other users were affected.

The council’s shared sciences manager Lois Easton gave evidence on the council’s commitment to working collaboratively with Rongowhakaata and other mana whenua in the region.

Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust

She acknowledged that the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust did not consider that the cultural impact assessment prepared for the trial was sufficient and she apologised for that.

The council was committed to a collaborative approach with Rongowhakaata to develop a monitoring programme that would address the concerns of the iwi.

The two parties would work towards developing a tool for assessing the cultural health of water bodies affected by the trial.

The council would share water information with Rongowhakaata and had accepted an invitation to spend a day at a marae to discuss issues relating to the aquifer recharge trial.

In answer to a question, she said the council needed to cut the present consented rate of extraction from the aquifer by a third to make it sustainable.

The first day of the hearing yesterday saw Gisborne District Council present its evidence and the three commissioners make a site visit.

Other submitters will give their evidence today.

THE managed Makauri aquifer recharge injection trial will provide key advances in the knowledge of the aquifer, a panel of independent commissioners was told yesterday.

Gisborne District Council is seeking resource consent to drill up to three test bores and inject a maximum of 100,000 cubic metres of water into the aquifer in a trial expected to take three months.

The council is seeking a change to the proposed conditions for the consent to increase the rate of water taken from the Waipaoa River and the rate that is injected into the aquifer from a maximum of 15 litres per second at any time to 22.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is processing the application and the staff recommendation is that it be granted subject to a package of consents.

The council’s water and coastal resources team leader Dennis Crone said the trial would provide key advances in knowledge of the aquifer and the responses that would be observed from replenishment by injection.

The project had followed robust processes of transparency, collaboration and use of the world’s best practitioners.

Some adaptive management remained to be completed but this could be expected, as investors in the project could not proceed until a resource consent had been obtained.

Funders had provided a robust management plan and details of this would be developed in more detail after the consent had been granted.

Main ingredients identified

The key ingredients of monitoring had been identified and it was his opinion that the consent conditions as proposed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, with some minor amendments by the applicant, would allow the trial to proceed with a low level of risk that would be very well managed.

Mr Crone said the trial would stop after the first 10,000 cubic metres had been extracted and there would be a three-month assessment period.

Commissioner Peter Callender said it could be beneficial to have conditions added that would protect other users of the aquifer.

The worst situation would be if other users were affected.

The council’s shared sciences manager Lois Easton gave evidence on the council’s commitment to working collaboratively with Rongowhakaata and other mana whenua in the region.

Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust

She acknowledged that the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust did not consider that the cultural impact assessment prepared for the trial was sufficient and she apologised for that.

The council was committed to a collaborative approach with Rongowhakaata to develop a monitoring programme that would address the concerns of the iwi.

The two parties would work towards developing a tool for assessing the cultural health of water bodies affected by the trial.

The council would share water information with Rongowhakaata and had accepted an invitation to spend a day at a marae to discuss issues relating to the aquifer recharge trial.

In answer to a question, she said the council needed to cut the present consented rate of extraction from the aquifer by a third to make it sustainable.

The first day of the hearing yesterday saw Gisborne District Council present its evidence and the three commissioners make a site visit.

Other submitters will give their evidence today.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the new identity and wellbeing focus of Trust Tairawhiti (formerly Eastland Community Trust)?