After a tough summer, water restrictions have been lifted across Hamilton, Waipā and Waikato.
Despite a prolonged dry period, coupled with the impacts of COVID-19 in recent weeks, the region was able to keep up with demand thanks to everyone making a concerted effort.
While some areas saw record water use, pleas to conserve water and requests to do our bit to make sure there was enough for everyone were heard by our communities.
Hamilton City Council’s City Waters Manager Maire Porter says despite a hot summer and more of the city’s residents staying at home during the past weeks, everyone has made a conscious effort to manage water use at peak times.
“It’s always a great feeling to lift water restrictions and is testament to those in our communities who have made an extra effort during the past months. Although the water restrictions have been lifted, it is important residents are still responsible with their water use.”
Hamilton’s water usage peaked on Tuesday 4 February when the city used 87.6 million litres of water.
Ms Porter says a lot of effort goes into educating the community around water-saving messages and it’s good to see these taken on board.
“We really appreciate the effort our city makes, and I want to thank the community for listening to the alert levels and making the various changes needed – it really does make a difference.”
Waipā District Council’s Water Services Manager Martin Mould said the lifting of restrictions comes from a major community effort, coupled with good timing.
“This summer was the first in Waipā history to reach water alert level four and our communities, businesses and industries rose to the challenge to help us get through,” Martin said.
“Every single drop counted this summer and we made it through this severe meteorological drought that extended through much of the north island.
“We’re investing in water infrastructure with the new Te Awamutu Water Supply pipeline underway. This will bring some much needed supply and also resilience across the wider network.”
“I think this summer has confirmed just how vital water infrastructure is to our communities.”
Waikato District Council General Manager Service Delivery Roger MacCulloch wanted to thank all those in the Waikato district who played their part in conserving water this summer.
“Waikato district residents are aware of their water use due to the installation of water meters several years ago. This, coupled with good storage solutions and our people working hard to keep their water use at a sustainable level, meant most of the Waikato district remained off water alert levels for the first time despite the region being in drought this summer, which is certainly something to celebrate.
Residents living in Tuakau and Pokeno are connected to Auckland’s metropolitan water network. While they have not had their water supply restricted over summer, Auckland is still experiencing a severe drought. The city’s water supplier, Watercare, says that water restrictions in the north of the Waikato district are growing increasingly likely as the dry weather continues.
Smart Water has an e-newsletter to let you know when your alert level changes, it also has a week-by-week water use graph and other water saving tips. Sign up to receive it at smartwater.org.nz/subscribe
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.