Whitianga Water Supply Strategy


In March 2022 Council commissioned Lutra Consultants Limited to carry out a study of a long-term water supply strategy for future-proofing the public water supply in Whitianga.

The study is being undertaken in two stages:

Stage 1 - the development of potential water supply management options.

Stage 2 - the identification of a water supply strategy, which will outline recommended short- and long-term options and investigations. This work is yet to commence.

After stage 1 is completed, expected in 2023, staff will workshop the options with the Mercury Bay Community Board and Council before progressing to stage 2.

The need for a water supply strategy

The Whangamaroro River to the south of the Whitianga town is currently the sole water source. The volume of water that can be abstracted from the Whangamaroro river is limited by resource consent conditions set by Waikato Regional Council. This resource consent expires on 01 July 2025. 

Following a drought during the 2019/2020 summer coupled with a drop in river levels and a very high-water demand, Council imposed water restrictions to manage demand and comply with resource consent conditions.

Demand for water is high over the summer months when the resident population is increased by an influx of bach owners and other holiday makers. 

Following the 2019/20 drought event, our Council requested staff to undertake investigations to find an additional water source to secure the public water supply in Whitianga. This led to the need to develop a long-term public water supply strategy for Whitianga. The design horizon for the strategy study is 50 years.

See the comprehensive report on the strategy presented to our Council at its 21 February 2023 meeting for more detail. 


Whitianga, Mercury Bay   View Map

Google Map