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Water meters to save millions on NPDC plumbing bill

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Water meters to save millions on NPDC plumbing bill

Water meters are set to be rolled out to around 26,000 homes around the district over the next two years as part of NPDC’s major investment in Fixing the Plumbing and save millions by stopping waste.

New Plymouth is one of the highest consumption places in Aotearoa, using up to 50%-100% more water than places of a similar size and make-up, putting extra strain on the district’s 800km of ageing drinking water pipes, which are more than 100 years old in some places and literally bursting.

Combine that with a growing population and the fact that we’re already maxing out our water sources during dry periods, and it makes a pressing case for using water more efficiently, said NPDC Three Waters Manager Mark Hall.

“Locals use on average 288 litres per person per day in New Plymouth versus 222 litres across New Zealand – but water meters would help cut our water use by about 20% and help reduce the cost of future investment in the infrastructure,” said Mr Hall.

If we cut our water use by a quarter, we could cut the cost for new pipes and equipment from $171m over the next 30 years to just $50m.

The water meter rollout will start this month in Fernleigh following NPDC’s successful pilot installation of meters in Brooklands earlier this year.

NPDC will coordinate the roll-out of water meters in towns and suburbs with other water projects so that any inconvenience to residents is minimised.

Under the proposed Three Waters changes, from July 2024 the district’s water infrastructure will be owned by a new Water Services Entity, which will be responsible for billing water users. Until then, local homeowners will continue to pay a fixed charge as part of their rates (except those with swimming pools).

Find out more at, including installation schedule and project updates.

Fast Facts

  • Right now, most households pay a flat rate for water regardless of how much they use.
  • Our residential water use of 288 litres per person per day is higher than the national average in New Zealand of 222 litres. Source: 2021 National Performance
  • Review, Water NZ.Our average daily water use is 50%-100% higher than in Whangarei, Marlborough, Nelson, Palmerston North, and Kapiti.
  • The law stops anyone making a profit on water supply, so we can only cover our treatment and delivery costs
  • We are investing $248m over 10 years to fix the district’s plumbing.


Caption:  NPDC Cadet Kezia Neither helped install water meters as part of the Brooklands pilot in May.