Citycare Water and Auckland Council have just launched an initiative to maintain water sensitive stormwater assets. These are naturalised assets that are intended to filter out pollutants from storm water run-off and improve the quality of the water that filters into Auckland’s waterways. Much of the work is labour intensive and requires small, agile units to be deployed to work on swales, rain gardens, ponds and coastal outfalls.
The pilot project called “2 in a Ute” is just that – two people with hand tools who are working these storm water assets in their local communities. There are currently four teams deployed in Hibiscus and Bays in the North, Waitākere Ranges, Henderson-Massey and Whau in the West and Manukau, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Papakura and Franklin in the South.
Each team member has a passion for the programme and a desire to grow their skill base. They bring with them broad practical experience from landscaping, traffic management and the water industry. The teams kicked off on 5 February after completing a few weeks’ training specific to the programme.
Beyond its primary focus in maintaining these waterways, the pilot also aims to deliver social and environmental outcomes. The teams have been recruited locally and have strong ties to the communities in which they will be working. The project aims to contain and mitigate its carbon footprint by keeping it local where possible and contributing to mana whenua and community initiatives.
As well as offering employment and training opportunities, it is designed to upskill and support individuals to grow. Initially, the team has been employed by Citycare Water as they build their skills, and confidence and the pilot scheme is tested.
Tim Gibson, Executive GM Citycare Water says “Citycare Water is excited about the potential of this pilot programme and we have been working with Council for several months to shape this. The team are an enthusiastic group of people looking for new opportunities and seeking to acquire new skills. We look forward to a great outcome that may provide longer term social and environmental outcomes for Auckland.”
Wonder how water gets to small or rural communities that are further away from our urban clusters?
Figuring this out, and creating solutions that are accessible and sustainable, that’s the job of Citycare Water’s Small Waters team.
Staying calm when there’s a four-metre high geyser of water shooting into the sky is all part of a day’s work for Citycare Water crews working on reactive maintenance. There’s also a bit of detective work required when Citycare Water crews arrive at the site of a leak.