Community & Environment

Waikato region urged to conserve water ahead of hot summer

Summer is officially here so it’s time to start thinking about how much water we use. While we aren’t at water alert levels yet, it’s not far away if we keep using the amount we are.

Hamilton City Council’s City Waters Manager Maire Porter said despite the rain we’ve experienced in recent weeks, it’s important to conserve water now as we prepare for the long, dry summer ahead.

“We’ve already seen a steady increase in water demand over the past month. Historical trends indicate that with improving weather, water use will only continue to increase throughout December.”

Acting General Manager Service Delivery Roger MacCulloch says warmer weather always leads to an increase in water consumption in the Waikato district.

“Everyone has been doing well so far and as we move towards summer, we need to remember to keep on top of our water usage. It has generally been a hot and dry year so far, so the community can play their part by using water wisely ahead of what could be a long, dry summer. There are lots of ways to conserve water, taking shorter showers, watering the garden by hand, or washing your car on a piece of lawn which needs watering can save hundreds of litres a day.”

Waipaa District Council’s Water Services Manager, Martin Mould, said a hot summer is on the cards but a wet spring season is keeping water alert levels at bay for the first time since the Smart Water campaign started.

“Te Awamutu and Pirongia’s water supply comes from the Mangauika Stream. In the summer months, it can struggle to keep up with demand so we are advising people be mindful of how they use water, particularly over summer.

“Warmer weather and periods of heavy rainfall from recent thunderstorms are contributing well to the stream’s levels, however increased water temperatures may cause algal blooms which can also initiate a water alert level. The higher we can keep the stream level, the more freshwater is able to flow and reduce the occurrence of algae growth.”

“Waipaa is in for a long, hot summer and we all need to consider how much water we are using.”

Smart Water has an e-newsletter to let you know when your alert level changes. Sign up to receive it, and access to FAQs, at smartwater.org.nz.

Smart Water Starts with You! is as sub-regional summer campaign aiming to make long-term change to how we use water and is a joint venture between Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipaa District Council.

About the water alert level system:

The Water Alert Levels and their corresponding requirements are a way to use water in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer. The water alert level system consists of four alert levels and matching requirements.

Water Alert Level 1
Use sprinkler systems between 6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime

Water Alert Level 2
Use sprinkler systems on alternate days between
6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime

Water Alert Level 3
No use of sprinklers.
Hand-held hosing only

Water Alert Level 4
No use of outside water systems

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