Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Times of Georgia
HomePoliticalNeed For More Water Investment Made Clear

Need For More Water Investment Made Clear


Water New Zealand says new evidence just released shows
the extent of the challenges facing the three waters
sector.

The Department of Internal Affairs has just
released a series of reports
which look at the need for reform and addresses
some of the key issues raised during consultations with the
sector.

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian
Blythe says New Zealanders have made it clear that safe
drinking water and healthy environmental outcomes are a
priority, but there will be a need to achieve this in the
most affordable and effective way.

The latest Water
Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) report released
today, estimates that we need to invest between $120-b and
$185-b over the next 30 years to comply with quality
standards.

“We all want to swim in beaches and
rivers that are clean and to be able to turn on the tap
anywhere in the country and have safe drinking water but
achieving this will come at a big cost.”

She says
there has been significant under investment in water
infrastructure for many years.

The Deloitte report, on
the economic impact of the reforms and implications,
forecasts that every region would be expected to be
positively impacted in terms of GDP and employment
growth.

The report says the reforms would result in an
extra 5,800 to 9,300 new jobs between 2022 and 2051. It
predicts growth rates of up to 80 percent in the water
sector workforce and says this will present significant
opportunities for employment growth, specialisation and
increased career opportunities.

“However, councils
and utilities are already finding it difficult to fill
current vacancies. This has been recognised for some time.
For instance, Water New Zealand’s latest National
Performance Review revealed an eight percent vacancy rate
across the country in 2019/2020.

“That is why Water
New Zealand has begun working with Connexis, Taumata Arowai
and the Department of Internal Affairs on a long-term
strategy to develop a workforce today to meet the needs of
tomorrow.”

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