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Water limits set for Kapiti Coast

Water limits set for Kapiti Coast

The Greater Wellington Regional Council has issued a water shortage direction which limits the use of water by people and businesses in Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast.

These restrictions limit the use of water taken from the Waikanae River, including the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) water supply, to essential uses only. These uses are: drinking, cooking, food preparation, bathing, showering, cleaning for hygiene and health reasons, toilet flushing, clothes washing, fire-fighting and supplying drinking water for animals and livestock.

Irrigation of rural properties, gardens and lawns, and washing cars, houses or boats is prohibited.

Businesses in this area may use water for hygiene and health reasons but will need to find alternative sources of water for non-essential uses. The restrictions apply until 5pm, 4 April or until rain raises the flow in the Waikanae River to above 750 litres per second.

Ian Buchanan, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Environment Committee, says, “Kapiti Coast District Council currently has restrictions in place which limit water use to household use only. Greater Wellington’s restrictions are slightly more specific, limiting water use to essential uses. Greater Wellington can also issue instant fines. Anybody caught using water for other than the stated essential uses will receive an infringement notice with a $500 fine.”

“Greater Wellington is taking this action because, faced with the current water crisis, Kapiti people have not taken adequate responsibility to reduce the amount of water being used. We have reached a critical situation. A harsher approach is now required,” he says.

“While we are worried about the effect of the water shortage on the health of the Waikanae River, we are also worried about the potential effects on peoples’ health and safety should the river level continue to fall. Poor water quality is likely if the river level falls too low. This could affect people’s health. Also, the fire risk in Kapiti is very high at the moment and water may be needed to put out fires.

“KCDC is required to reduce the amount of water taken from the Waikanae River to 10,370 cubic metres per day. We know that this is achievable because these levels are reached during winter.”

“If Kapiti’s people do not come to the party soon we may have to impose more severe water restrictions,” Cr. Buchanan said.

Greater Wellington has also renewed a water shortage direction for Waitohu Stream. This water shortage direction limits the use of water to essential public and household supplies and the supply of stock drinking water. Irrigation of land, including the use of sprinklers and hand held hoses, is prohibited. The flow in the Waitohu Stream is currently 74 litres per second, nearly half of the minimum flow.

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