Watercare and Healthy Waters have begun making changes to their long term strategy with climate change in mind.
At the Environment and Climate Change committee on July 7 the organisations discussed how they were looking to reduce emissions.
The change in strategy follows concerns from councillors last year that Watercare was not looking to reduce emissions in their long term plan.
Watercare head of sustainability Chris Thurston said they were expecting emissions to rise over the next three years but with new strategies that would anticipate a steep decline follow the rise.
“For watercare there is an emphasis on waste water management when reducing emissions,” Thurston said. "One way Watercare could reduce waste emissions was through “thermal hydrolysis,” a process that combines heat and pressure to treat bio-waste".
Thurston said Watercare was reviewing materials and techniques to reduce infrastructure emissions. “We will be looking to reduce emissions by using existing infrastructure which may reduce emissions by 60 percent”.
Mayor Phil Goff asked Thurston if it was possible to reduce or using alternative materials to steel and concrete.
Thurston said that they were currently exploring alternatives like “adding materials to concrete to reduce volume, like pumice.”
Healthy Waters zero carbon team principal Leigh Steckler said they were looking to maximise carbon capturing.
Steckler pointed to planting, making changes to infrastructure design and trialing non-drinking water reuse as ways to reduce emissions.
Cr Linda Cooper asked how the work from Healthy Waters and Watercare would function under governments Three Waters Reform, which will take water management out of council control.
Chair Richard Hills said no matter what happened going forward a new entity would have information available to them.
Hills said that the work Healthy Waters and Watercare were doing was “very important” and was all coming together.
Submissions close on government’s water services entities bill under the Three Waters Reform on July 22.