Water supply, wastewater, stormwater, surface water and groundwater form a fundamental part of the life of the community. Christchurch City Council has a responsibility to ensure that its water services, infrastructure and water taonga are managed in a manner that supports the environmental, social, cultural and economic wellbeing of current and future generations.
In this regard, we work with Environment Canterbury, which has responsibilities for environmental resources management. The broader legislative and policy context is described in Appendix A.
Te wai ora o Tāne Water for life
Water is a valued taonga, in all that we do
The vision recognises the importance of water, as taonga, to the life of the community of Ōtautahi Christchurch, while also recognising the significant cultural values associated with water. Achieving the vision will mean that Christchurch’s water resources and taonga are managed in an integrated way to provide people, communities and future generations with access to safe and sufficient water resources, maintain the integrity of freshwater ecosystems and manage hazards from flooding and sea-level rise.
An Integrated Water Strategy will both recognise and support the ongoing recovery activities following the earthquakes and set a path for our future management of our water resources and water services and associated infrastructure.
It will establish the strategic direction for our sustainable long-term management of water resources and related infrastructure. The strategy focuses on water supply, wastewater and surface water including stormwater and flood management.
Principles that have guided the development of the strategy are: integration, longevity, touchstone, placemaking, flood management, international best practice, efficiency and kaitiakitanga.
Urban Water Principles
The strategy recognises and incorporates the Urban Water Principles – Ngā Wai Manga recommended by central government’s Urban Water Working Group:
- Papatūānuku – Our relationship with the land – papatūānuku – will predetermine our relationship with water
- Ngā wai tuku kiri – Our waters are a gift of life provided to us by our tupuna
- Tāngata – Our environments are places of human occupation
- Te hāpori me te wai – The community’s love and care for water is enduring
- Tiakina mō apōpō – In building future resilience, our connectedness with the environment is our strength
Key strategic issues
This strategy addresses eleven key strategic issues, relating to managing wastewater discharges, ensuring long term water supply, responding to stormwater management, flooding, and potential sea-level rise issues, improving water quality and waterway health, and ensuring that the community values its many different types of water resources
- Different perceptions of the ‘value’ of the waters
- Poor state of some waterbodies
- Vulnerability of Christchurch’s groundwater source to contamination
- Wastewater overflows and effects on surface water
- Treated wastewater discharges into Akaroa Harbour
- Stormwater discharges and effects on surface water
- Flooding and flood management
- Responding/adapting to the anticipated effects of sea-level rise on water resources and related infrastructure
- Long term availability of water for water supply
- Long term sustainable wastewater treatment and disposal
- Infrastructure efficiency and resilience