30 Mar 2009

Wellington council accused of overstating water use

9:21 am on 30 March 2009

A retired engineer is accusing the Wellington City Council of misleading the public in an effort to bolster attempts to introduce water metering.

Frank Cook has sent the council a report pointing out what he calls grossly misleading statements about water use.

He says calculations put Wellington domestic water consumption at 251 litres per person per day while the council website at one point put the figure at 500 litres per day, later lowering it to 350 litres per day.

Mr Cook also disputes comparisons made with Auckland, Upper Hutt and Nelson.

He says the council has admitted some errors but its overall response has been inadequate.

City councillor Celia Wade-Brown says the figures appear to have been misleading, but were simply the result of the wrong sets of data being compared.

Ms Wade-Brown says staff are now clearing up any unfair comparisons on the website.

Frank Cook also says the council must address the leakage of water from pipes which he estimates at 20% of the water flow.