The new structure of the group, as reported in 2017, has widened our input into the environmental aspects of policy, both within Watercare and as it contributes to external demands.
Climate change has continued to be a major focus. Watercare’s assets have both a long life and long planning and construction lead times. It is expected that items currently in planning will still be operational when climate change effects become significant; so, failing now to consider the implications of possible sea level rise and extreme weather events could have major environmental and social consequences in future. EAG considers that this imperative to act now places Watercare in a position of natural leadership in climate change adaptation and that it can contribute significantly to achieving policy coherence within the Auckland Council family. Watercare is also building experience and data that can be shared with water and wastewater operations elsewhere in the country.
Through attendance at staff workshops, EAG members can confirm that a thorough approach is being taken by Watercare to the predicted effects of climate change in Auckland. There is a high degree of participation and buy-in by staff, which has resulted in recording an extensive set of potential implications for Watercare. We have had significant input, via a further workshop and teleconferencing, to the development of the climate change strategy arising from this work.
Other major topics engaged with during the past year include:
Environmental Advisory Group
Paul Walbran, Chairman
Water quality, harbour health, heritage
Zero waste, water-sensitive urban design (WSUD)
Ma-tauranga, mauri, waterscapes, water futures
Wetlands, water, community infrastructure, Aotearoa plants
Environmental management, business sustainability, water quality, restoration and conservation, climate change
Water, energy efficiency, soils, waste, permaculture
Environmental litigation, national policy development
During the year we farewelled Chris Hatton. We thank Chris for the wealth of environmental management experience he brought to the group. We are currently recruiting for his replacement.