Hamilton City Council currently spends approximately $430,000 per annum on the type of works involved in Project Watershed. This expenditure is currently funded from the Hamilton City Council general rate. It is intended that these works will be funded under Project Watershed and they are included in the $5.5m annual cost.
These works involve maintenance of existing erosion protection works on the Waikato River which protect walkways, parks and reserves, and property. This includes some works to streams outside the Hamilton boundary which benefits Hamilton City.
Provision of further protection of the Waikato River bank, gully outlets and the major streams dissecting the city from erosion has also been included in Project Watershed.
An investigation into the degradation (or lowering) of the riverbed through Hamilton City will also be conducted under Project Watershed as has already been noted. Works to protect bridges, private property and other facilities will be programmed under Project Watershed, if the investigation proves that they are required.
Hamilton ratepayers will pay $882,000 per annum of the total $5.5m annual expenditure or around 16 percent. Hamilton’s population of 114,000 makes up approximately 42 percent of the total population in the Project Watershed catchment. The capital value and land value of Hamilton City is 33 percent and 26 percent of the total for the Project Watershed catchment respectively.
The residents of Hamilton will also enjoy indirect benefits from Project Watershed, such as enhanced recreational opportunities because of reduced sedimentation in the lakes and other reaches of the Waikato River. In particular Project Watershed will provide and maintain significant works around Lakes Arapuni and Karapiro to control erosion and the inflow of sediment. Residents of Hamilton and other urban centres make considerable use of these amenities and will benefit from the maintenance and improvement of water quality and aesthetic values.
The effective resource management of the Region’s major river and catchments is also important to the social, economic and commercial well being of urban areas such as Hamilton, as is the protection of Regional communication links from a major disaster.