The Ministry of Health has published its Annual Report on Drinking-water Quality 2019-2020. The report summarises drinking-water compliance for the 486 registered networked drinking-water supplies that served populations of more than 100 people in the compliance period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. The supplies provided water to 4,142,000 people in total.
The report describes how these supplies met the requirements of the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand and their progress towards meeting the requirements of the Health Act 1956 during the compliance period.
Supplies that met all standards for drinking-water quality increased to 78.6 percent of the report population (3,254,000 people), which is an increase of 2.4 percent compared with the previous compliance period.
Supplies that complied with their duties under the Health Act 1956, such as having water safety plans, monitoring drinking-water and protecting drinking-water sources, decreased by 0.5% from the previous compliance period to 96.7 percent (4,003,000). The decrease occurred because a more stringent audit was done by drinking-water assessors for this report.
Legislation is progressing for the new water services regulator, Taumata Arowai, which will take over from the Ministry of Health following the commencement of the Water Services Act, expected to be in the second half of 2021. The Ministry of Health is working closely with the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure a smooth transition of the system to Taumata Arowai.