Monitoring water allocation in the Waikato is an important job, especially after the hot, dry summers of recent years.
University of Waikato Earth Sciences graduate Leah Adlam is a resource officer for Waikato Regional Council’s water allocation programme.
Water availability and allocation“Water availability and allocation is increasingly topical, with the demand for resources often exceeding what is available to be allocated, particularly from surface water bodies,” says Leah.
“Those who want to use water from a well, lake, river or stream for irrigation, dairy shed wash downs or small community water supplies and so on must apply for consent. Once consent is given, it’s also important to ensure those individuals or businesses are taking and using water in accordance with the conditions of their resource consent.”
Leah receives these applications and assesses them against the requirements of the Resource Management Act and the provisions of the Waikato Regional Plan and Waikato Regional Policy Statement. Following this assessment, she provides a recommendation to Council on whether the water take consent should be granted.
Science background“I find my science background helps enormously when it comes to understanding the potential impacts of the proposed resource consent activities. I also love to get outdoors, so the field work that comes with this position is fantastic. Getting to know the Waikato and the activities that occur within the region is a real highlight.”
Upon graduating Leah worked in Auckland for a year as an environmental scientist at GHD Consulting, before moving back to Hamilton for her role at Waikato Regional Council around 3.5 years ago.
Study at Waikato UniversityThe former Cambridge High School student completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Science (MSc) focusing on Earth Sciences.
“I was extremely fortunate to receive funding through my masters supervisor to travel to Antarctica twice, and to the USA to collaborate with colleagues via scholarship funding. The trips to Antarctica were an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for which I will be forever grateful.”
Leah says she would not hesitate to recommend a BSc at Waikato to anyone. “The Earth Sciences staff are so knowledgeable and approachable. I started my science degree with the intention of majoring in physics but along the way found Earth Sciences was where I thrived and really loved the content.”