The Office of the Auditor General in New Zealand’s work agenda for 2017-2018 will focus on examining the country’s water supply systems, including irrigation, resource consent management and drinking water systems.
The audit will seek to determine whether local and central governments efficiently handle water resources in their respective jurisdictions. In particular, the Auditor General plans to assess the safety of drinking water sources, following an incident involving over 5,000 people in Havelock North.
The incident refers to Havelock North residents that contracted illness due to the area’s drinking water supply. In other areas such as Napier, the local council recently decided to add chlorine to its water supply after tested positive for E. coli bacteria.
As a result, regional councils can expect to be subject to the Auditor General’s investigation on how they implement safety measures. The assessment will also scrutinise the efforts of local authorities regarding their water security initiatives for the future, amid factors such changing demographics and climate.
The private sector could also be included in the audit, including certain services provided by welldriller firms.
The Environment Ministry’s $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund serves as another highlight of the audit, which will look into the ministry’s plans to oversee the allocation of funds for waterway development projects over the next 10 years.
In terms of natural calamities, the Auditor General will review stormwater systems and flood management risks. The audit will take place at an appropriate time since the country’s population continually increases, hence the need for more potable drinking water and infrastructure will be more a relevant subject.
Whether you run a business with water supply systems or simply use one at home, it is advisable to check for systematic problems as early as now to ensure they comply with New Zealand’s standards.