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Summer water conservation starts this weekend


29 November 2007

Summer water conservation starts this weekend

With the start of what is predicted to be a long hot summer and reducing levels of water in the rivers and streams, the Kapiti Coast District Council is introducing water use limits throughout the district starting this weekend (December 1).

“The winter and spring have been nowhere near as wet as in some previous years so the water table is low,” Chief Executive Leigh Halstead said. “Over the past two fine, dry weekends, water consumption has climbed to nearly 19,000 cubic metres a day in the Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae areas nearing the consent trigger points for limiting overall consumption.

He emphasised that Kapiti Coast was not alone in introducing water conservation measures at this time.

“Today’s news reports show that drought effects are being felt in many areas of the North and South Islands and water use is being restricted in residential and farming areas.”

Mayor Jenny Rowan commented that, “Whether water comes from rivers, bores or dams, there’s always a limit to how much can or should be used to keep those gardens green. Water is high on this Council’s agenda and predictions of a long dry summer will certainly focus our minds on the issues we need to address around water management and supply,” she said.

Mr Halstead said, “In the past we’ve asked only Paekakariki, and Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae residents to restrict their use of water to hand held hoses. This season we’re asking for restraint from Ōtaki users as well because of the cost of pumping water and in recognition of the fact that water is a finite resource and should be used wisely.”

Ōtaki’s supply comes entirely from bores beside the river. Paekakariki has a year-round combination of water from Smith’s Creek and a bore and Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati residents get water from the Waikanae River combined with bore water when river levels drop and consumption rises.

“From this weekend, water use levels will be clearly signposted at the usual sites throughout the district,” Mr Halstead said. “We’ll have advertisements each week in the papers showing the water use limits in each area and there is information on the Council and Regional Council websites on water use limits and river water levels.

“From February next year the Council has decided that all new houses built in Kapiti must have rain water tanks or combinations of water tanks and greywater systems to provide alternative supplies for use in gardens and other non-drinking applications,” he said.

“The Council is committed to a strategy managing our water supplies wisely,” Jenny Rowan said, “but this new Council has yet to have the conversation over more restrictive means of water management such as water meters and ways to assist and encourage fitting water tanks on existing sections.”


For information on gardening in dry and sandy conditions:

www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/Sustainability/ManagingOurWater/Green+Gardener.htm

For assistance with setting up water tanks and greywater systems:

www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/Sustainability/ManagingOurWater/Green+Gardener.htm

ends


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