Local Government Magazine
Technical Briefings

Kapiti monitors river recharge

The following paper was presented at the 2016 IPWEA NZ conference in Auckland. Monitoring of the river recharge with groundwater scheme. By Martyn Cole (Kapiti Coast District Council), Tracy Clode, Kirsten Fraser, Michael Goff & Nathan Baker (all from CH2M Beca).

Kapiti Coast District Council’s award-winning River Recharge with Groundwater (RRwGW) scheme has now been monitored through two summers. The 78 pages of consent conditions required an extensive network of monitoring sites and supporting systems be set up focusing on four ecosystems:

  • The Waikanae borefield;
  • Seven small coastal streams;
  • 13 wetlands; and
  • The Waikanae River.

Monitoring of the RRwGW Scheme_Kapiti Coast
The full paper describes the setting up of that network and systems, and the changes that have been made to the consents to recognise the practicalities both on-the-ground and in the monitoring framework. It also details the results of the monitoring and how this is being reported to the regulator / stakeholders / public. There is, for example, a website for the 150 private well owners who are potentially affected.
The paper also describes the workings of the innovative Adaptive Management Group, and what the future might hold for the optimisation of monitoring of RRwGW.
Three key points that are explored and documented are:

  • Because RRwGW was an innovative water supply scheme, a conservative approach was taken in the consenting, resulting in a high level of monitoring. Council is hoping it will be able to optimise the level of monitoring in the short- to medium-term, as the degree of uncertainty around the actual effects reduces over time.
  • How a collaborative and pragmatic approach to the monitoring has resulted in more efficient and effective data gathering and reporting.
  • How adaptive management can work in practice.

Authors’ profiles
Martyn Cole is a chartered engineer with Engineers Ireland and has over 21 years’ experience planning and delivering projects in the water industry including nine years spent overseas in Ireland and the UK. He is passionate about making a real difference for the community he serves by improving the value for money delivered and increasing the confidence in, and communication of, the decision-making processes. Martyn is the water and wastewater asset manager for Kapiti Coast District Council, responsible for the planning and delivery of asset management and long-term strategic goals for water and wastewater services in Kapiti.
Tracy Clode is an associate – project management for CH2M Beca, based in Wellington. She is a project management professional with a background in civil engineering focused on the water industry. Her 15 years plus of experience is predominantly in delivering local authority and remote community water and wastewater infrastructure, and includes working for seven years in Scotland. Tracy is currently the project manager for the three-year commission for the monitoring of the RRwGW scheme.
Kirsten Fraser is an associate – environmental engineering for CH2M Beca, based in Wellington. Kirsten was extensively involved in the Kapiti Coast Water Supply project; providing senior technical support to the investigations, design and consenting work that was undertaken on that project. She is currently technical lead for the three-year commission for the monitoring of the RRwGW scheme.
Michael Goff is an associate – hydrogeology for CH2M Beca, based in Auckland. Michael has nearly 30 years’ experience in hydrogeology and water resource management. He has worked in Florida, California and Nevada, USA, as well as Abu Dhabi, the UAE and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, prior to joining CH2M Beca in New Zealand two years ago. Michael is the hydrogeology lead for the three-year commission for the monitoring of the RRwGW scheme.
Nathan Baker is a technical director – planning for CH2M Beca, based in Wellington. Nathan led the consenting for the Kapiti Coast Water Supply project and is a strong advocate of the adaptive management approach being applied for the RRwGW scheme.

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