With holidays coming to an end, Hamilton City Council is urging Hamiltonians to be careful with water as they settle back in at home.
Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Pirongia and Waikato district all remain on Water Alert Level 1 however with the warm dry weeks ahead, it is important that water conservation efforts are maintained to avoid having to move to Level 2 for as long as possible.
Water Alert Level 1 means residents can use their sprinklers between 6-8am and 6-8pm with hand-held hoses allowed at any time. Going to Water Alert Level 2 will mean that sprinklers and irrigations systems can only be used between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on alternate days.
Hamilton City Council, City Waters Manager Maire Porter says there has been a daily water usage increase of around 22% this week compared to last.
“Traditionally we see lower levels of water usage for the week of Christmas, as people travel outside the area for holidays. However with higher than average temperatures forecast and more people returning home over the coming weeks the move to Alert Level 2 is becoming likely.”
“Everyone can make some small changes to their water usage that can save a lot of water each day. Simple things like using a timer with your sprinkler and positioning this so you are watering plants, not paved areas and using a cover on permanent and pop-up pools to prevent evaporation and the appropriate chemicals to keep the water fresh rather than emptying and re-filling.
There’s 160,000 people in Hamilton – if everyone ran the shower for 30 seconds less each day that’s more than a million litres saved.”
Maire explains there are a lot of factors that determine when water alert levels are triggered. These include current and historical water usage data, weather forecasting for the Waikato and Lake Taupo water levels.
“The river level changes depending on how much water is released from Taupo for the hydro-electric system and only impacts our supply of water if it drops below our water intake structure.
“The biggest driver for water alerts is how much we are using, there are limits on how much water we can take from the river and how much water we can sustainably treat each day at our water treatment plant. High quality drinking water is a precious resource, and that’s why we ask people to be mindful about how they use it.”
The Smart Water Starts With You! sub-regional summer campaign aims to make long-term change to how we use water and is a joint venture between Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipā District Council.
For more water saving tips visit www.smartwater.org.nz