Call for halt on water bottling consents

10:23 pm on 8 February 2017

Hawke's Bay residents are worried record low water levels in the region will get worse when bottling companies reach peak production.

Stringent water restrictions and bans are in place in the region and the local regional council has said it desperately needs rain.

The council has raised water restrictions to level three in Hastings, Flaxmere, Bridge Pa and Havelock North.

Level three meant a total ban on sprinklers, but residents could use handheld hoses to water their gardens every second day, between 6am and 8am, and 7pm and 9pm.

The failure of Havelock North's bores last year have put the local water supply under pressure.

The town's bores were turned off after more than 5000 people caught a gastro bug from the town supply last year.

Water bottling

Photo: 123rf

Some ratepayers are calling for a halt to any further water consents until more is known about the region's already-stressed water assets.

Local designer David Trubridge says there were 11 consented commercial water bottling takes, six of which have yet to be exercised.

Mr Trubridge says the council needs to do more research.

"They've been issuing consents left right and centre, but they don't even know how much water is there," he told Checkpoint.

"We certainly shouldn't be giving away more bottling rights."

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