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Care for gardens and environment

Care for gardens and environment, says Greater Wellington

A new regional water conservation campaign being launched this week calls on gardeners to water with more care for the environment, says Greater Wellington – The Regional Council.

Much of the water used by Wellington’s four cities and on the Kapiti Coast comes directly from local rivers, which rely on rainfall. As summer heats up, the combination of long hot days and little rain can cause water use to increase by over 50 percent. This places a heavy burden on the rivers and can lead to supply problems.

Dick Werry, Greater Wellington Utility Services committee chairman said careful watering of gardens was the key to easing the demands placed on the region’s rivers and supply systems during summer.

“Gardening is usually the single biggest use for water at this time of year, but a lot of that water doesn’t get to where it would really be of use – the roots of plants. We’re not asking people to stop watering, just to ensure they do their best to avoid that water going to waste.”

The campaign calls for gardeners to take three steps to tackle wasteful watering:

Watering should only cover the root zone of plants, not fences, driveways, footpaths etc

A 30-minute soak (when using a sprinkler or other unattended device) every 4-7 days without rain should be plenty for established plants; they don’t need watering for hours on end or every day

Reduce water lost due to evaporation by watering only when it’s cool and using mulch to hold moisture in the soil

Cr Werry said the campaign aimed to encourage careful watering whether or not this summer proved to be a scorcher.

“Many people only think of water conservation when water shortages threaten; we hope the campaign will encourage them to act before that point is reached. Using conservation measures in the garden every summer would help to minimise the resources needed for water supply, and leave the region better placed to cope with the effects of a drought.”

The summer water conservation campaign, using regional television, radio and community newspapers, is presented with the support of the region’s four city councils and Kapiti Coast District Council. The campaign runs from 12 January until the end of February.

Bylaws governing the use of water for gardening currently apply in Wellington, Porirua, Hutt City, Upper Hutt and Kapiti Coast. Bylaw conditions vary by area, so residents should contact their local council for details. Additional water saving tips, together with a summary of the watering bylaws of the councils involved with the campaign can be viewed at www.gw.govt.nz/ws/waterwise

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