Why develop an integrated water strategy?
Water resources play a fundamental part in providing for the needs of, and shaping the community. The Christchurch City Council provides water supply, wastewater and stormwater services and infrastructure throughout the District. Waterways and coastal waters also form a fundamental part of both the landscape and lives of the community.
The Draft Integrated Water Strategy (the Draft Strategy) is a high level overarching strategy developed to consider all of these different water resources, values and demands, and set a framework to help us to manage them in an integrated way over at least the next 100 years. The strategy also provides for the requirements of working with manawhenua under the National Policy Statement on Freshwater 2014 (Freshwater NPS) and other statutory and non-statutory plans, polices and strategies.
The Draft Strategy recognises our responsibilities to ensure water services and infrastructure support environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of current and future generations. In fulfilling these responsibilities we work with the community and with Environment Canterbury, which is responsible for environmental resource management.
Our water resources
Christchurch’s freshwater resources include springs, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, lagoon, estuaries and high-quality groundwater. These water resources are an important part of the unique culture and the natural values of the area, shaping the landscape and Christchurch’s heritage.
Water is fundamentally important to Ngāi Tahu, highly valued by the community for recreation, and crucial to the health of the environment in which the community lives.
Christchurch’s water infrastructure includes:
- groundwater and surface water sources for community drinking water supply and the infrastructure that conveys water from source to end-user, including treatment where necessary
- wastewater collection, treatment and discharge network
- stormwater collection, detention, treatment and conveyance and disposal network
The actual and potential adverse effects of discharges of stormwater (and sometimes wastewater) to the streams, rivers, estuaries, harbours and into land in Christchurch need to be managed, as do any effects of flooding.
The potential effects of climate change will also need to be responded or adapted to over the duration of the Draft Strategy.
Three Council strategies relating to the sustainable management of Christchurch’s water resources were adopted by the Council between 2009 and 2013:
- Water Supply Strategy 2009–2039
- Surface Water Strategy 2009–2039
- Wastewater Strategy 2013
Although efforts to take account of other water resources and their inter-relationships were made during the development of each of the existing water-related strategies, the extent to which this could be achieved was relatively limited. This has led to the development of the Integrated Water Strategy.
The Integrated Water Strategy will sit within the context of the work being undertaken by the Canterbury community under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. The Strategy will also sit within the work being undertaken to fulfil requirements under the Freshwater NPS, and the establishment of Te Hononga, a joint Council-Ngāi Tahu initiative and work programme.
The Draft Strategy covers respect and stewardship of the water resources within Christchurch through the sustainable and integrated management of Christchurch’s water supply (including its groundwater sources), wastewater and surface water (including stormwater and flooding).
Also included within the Draft Strategy is an overall approach for addressing impacts of sea level rise on waterways, stormwater management and flood management. The Draft Strategy also covers working relationships with Ngāi Tahu.
The Draft Strategy primarily considers matters over which we and/or the local community can manage or influence. Matters pertaining to water resources on a regional or national level are managed through a variety of other policy and regulatory instruments, such as the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, the Land and Water Regional Plan, the Resource Management Act, national environmental standards and national policy statements.
Development of the Draft Integrated Water Strategy
The Draft Strategy has been developed as part of the Council's Healthy Environment strategies programme. The process for developing the Strategy is outlined in Figure 1-1. The next step for this draft is public consultation.
The relationship of the Integrated Water Strategy to other Council Plans, Strategies and Policies is shown in Figure 1-2.
Legislative and policy context
There are a series of legislative and policy drivers for the preparation of the Draft Strategy, including:
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi Treaty of Waitangi
- Resource Management Act 1991
- Local Government Act 2002
- Health Act 1956, as amended
- Mahaanui Iwi Management Plan 2013
- National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, as amended
- National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water
- New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010
- Canterbury Regional Policy Statement
- Regional Coastal Environment Plan for the Canterbury Region
- Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan
- Christchurch District Plan
- Waimakariri River Regional Plan 2004, as amended
- Canterbury Water Management Strategy
A summary outline of relevant legislative and policy drivers is contained in Appendix A.
The work of the zone committees and other parties in implementing the Canterbury Water Management Strategy will be relevant to implementing the Integrated Water Strategy.