Water watch – conserve water now

High temperatures and very low rainfall put our district into level 1 water restrictions in November and we are continuing to urge people to continue to conserve water over the next few months.

NIWA predicts a few weeks ahead with minimal rainfall. Any rain we do get will not make much difference to the reservoirs.

The lack of significant rainfall is likely to push the district into level 2 restrictions next week, which will mean using sprinklers on alternate days.  

We all need to start making small changes such as limiting sprinkler use, doing full dishwasher and washing machine loads, fixing leaky taps and avoid watering in the heat of the day.

“As people take holidays we see a spike in water use” said Fiona Vessey, Council’s Group Manager Service Delivery. “We hope that people can conserve water now to avoid further restrictions. We are constantly monitoring the situation, and small efforts to save water do add up.”

Our water alert system consists of four levels:

Level 1: Conserve water
Water supply is expected to come under pressure.

Level 2: Water on alternate days

The water supply is under considerable pressure and significant savings are required. Hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems can only be used on alternate days (even street numbers on even days; odd street numbers on odd days).

 Level 3: Sprinkler ban

 At this level the water supply is under extreme pressure. Hand held hoses should only be used on alternate days and sprinklers, garden irrigation systems, unattended hoses, unnecessary water blasting and other water use is banned.

Level 4: Total watering ban

At this level the water supply level is critical and Waikato Regional Council restrictions may have been applied. All use of water outside the house is banned.

There are many things you can do to help conserve water around your home, including:

  • Do not use sprinklers when restrictions are in place.
  • Water your gardens in the evening so the water is adsorbed over night & not evaporated during the heat of the day.
  • Do not leave hoses running unattended.
  • Use the ½ flush option on the toilet if it has one - a full flush uses around 15 litres of water. To reduce the amount of water used by a standard toilet cistern, place a milk bottle of water or brick in the cistern.
  • For washing hands only turn on the tap half way – you’ll still get enough water to do the job and won’t waste as much.
  • Turn off the tap when you’re not using it – for example, when you’re brushing your teeth only turn the tap on when you need to rinse.
  • Use the plug – instead of running water to rinse your clothes or dishes, fill the tub or a bucket part way and use the water in that.
  • Fix dripping taps and leaking hoses.
  • Use the shower instead of the bath – the average bath uses 180 litres of water, but a shower only uses between 40 and 100 litres. The shorter shower you take, the more water you’ll be saving.
  • Run appliances such as your dishwasher and washing machine on the short cycle when possible.
  • Wash your car using a bucket and sponge, hosing only for a quick final rinse. By washing the car on the lawn, your grass gets some water as well.
  • Regularly check taps and pipes for leaks – a continuously dripping tap can waste around 600 litres per day.