Water New Zealand has just launched a major survey which it hopes will help the water sector grapple with the growing challenges around planning and managing the country's water resources.
It is the first national comprehensive survey of its type and aims to gauge New Zealanders' attitudes and concerns about water issues - from sustainability and quality issues to how to manage aging infrastructure and increasing urbanisation.
Water New Zealand Chief Executive John Pfahlert says the country's future prosperity is inextricably linked to how well our water resources will meet the needs of a growing population, diversified industries and protection of the environment.
He says recent events such as the Havelock North water contamination have helped focus attention on what is an essential resource that most of us take for granted.
"Water is one of the most essential services that local authorities provide to customers every day yet it is a service that most people don't fully understand and that means there is a risk that they can lose trust in a provider.
"In general, New Zealanders get great service from their water service providers at very little cost, but it is important that those providers remain responsive to communties' needs and expectations.
"Those of us in the business of providing water services need to understand what customers and communities think, including their values, how satisfied they are with the level and cost of infrastructure and whether water quality issues are being adequately addressed.
He says the information gathered will be used by water providers and utilities to help in future planning and ensuring customers' needs are being met.
The survey is expected to run for about six weeks and it is hoped that the findings will be presented at the Water New Zealand Conference in September.
Go to www.nzwatersurvey.co.nz to take part in the survey. For more information contact:
Water New Zealand Communications Advisor Debra Harrington tel 027 202 8857.