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Clutha District Council’s mixed-use rural drinking water supply user ownership pilot

Independent assessment of Clutha District’s mixed-use rural water supplies will inform options for user ownership of similar council-owned rural schemes.


15 November 2022

All council-owned and operated three waters services are set to be transferred to new Water Services Entities from 1 July 2024. However, the Government has agreed, on the recommendation of the Rural Supplies Technical Working Group, that users of council-owned mixed-use rural drinking water schemes, may have the option to take ownership of these schemes instead.

To inform understanding of this option, the Department of Internal Affairs is funding an independent assessment of Clutha District’s rural water supplies. To be undertaken by Morrison Low, it will consider the benefits, costs and risks of customer-ownership versus Water Services Entity ownership and operation.

The findings of this assessment will be shared with council-owned rural water scheme consumers in early 2023 to support their decision-making around whether they want to take the option of seeking user ownership. (Privately-owned and operated rural water schemes are not transferring to the new Water Services Entities, so this is specifically about the options for council-owned rural water schemes).

For more details on the pilot, see Clutha District Council’s press release here.