WELLINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- An innovative community-led plan to help maintain water supply to a far north region battered by drought is set to get underway with support from the New Zealand government.
"The impacts of climate change are not something that just our grandchildren will have to deal with - we are already seeing them," Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi said on Friday.
Te Hiku residents have experienced "some of the most severe and prolonged drought conditions on record," leading to acute water shortages, restrictions and rural residents having to rely on tanker deliveries for their drinking water, Faafoi said.
The region is expected to suffer more frequent and severe droughts, making it increasingly important that steps are taken now to increase the resilience of these communities to future droughts, he said, adding the government is providing funding to purchase and install up to 1,000 water tanks in Te Hiku for homes and community facilities.
The 8-million-NZ dollar (5.7 million U.S. dollars) investment will have a number of tangible outcomes, including improving drought resilience and providing employment and skills opportunities. In the longer term, it will make a real social and economic difference to the community, Faafoi said.
"Reliable water storage will mean greater resilience for this vulnerable community for which climate change is becoming a pressing reality," he said. Enditem