Hamilton and Waipa are under Water Alert Level One restrictions from Thursday 17 December 2020.
Moving to Water Alert Level One means sprinklers must only be used between 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm daily, while hand-held hosing can still be done at any time.
Hamilton City Council’s City Waters Manager Maire Porter says a number of factors are considered before water alert levels are put in place.
“We closely monitor water use, weather predictions and trends from previous summers to guide how we manage water,” says Porter.
NIWA projections for the upcoming summer in the Waikato region are for hot and humid weather and with a severe meteorological drought earlier this year and less rainfall in 2020, the two councils have opted to take a proactive approach this summer.
“Water conservation is important year-round and there’s many easy and effective changes people can make to their indoor and outdoor water usage that can save a lot of water each day,” says Porter.
Waipā District Council’s water services manager Martin Mould said with last summer’s first time at Water Alert Level Four, which brought a total outdoor watering ban to Te Awamutu, Pirongia and Ohaupo – the Council has elected to move earlier this year to Water Alert Level One, and across the entire district.
“The water supply for Te Awamutu and Pirongia comes from a small stream on Mt Pirongia which is quickly affected by hot and humid temperatures. We have also been monitoring the longer lasting effects of the drought on the Lake Taupo catchment and low Waikato River levels.
“Our experienced waters team are continuously monitoring our water supply levels across the district and have indicated that moving early will help prolong the supply. Our communities know how to band together and do their part in conserving water, and we need to again this year, so we can hopefully avoid any need for higher water alert levels again before our new water supply is ready next year.”
Making small behaviour changes such as taking your lawnmower blade up a notch, using a trigger gun on your hose instead of a sprinkler, taking a four-minute shower and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, can save litres of water over time.
Residents can also sign up to an e-newsletter which notifies when each area moves to a new alert level at smartwater.org.nz/subscribe.