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Need for sprinkler ban still only days away

News release
20 February 2008

Need for sprinkler ban still only days away

At least one of the three triggers for banning garden watering with sprinklers and irrigation systems is still only days away if dry conditions continue.

The water supply situation for the region’s four cities has only improved slightly, following last weekend’s rain, with rivers already slipping back to pre-weekend levels and water use rising.

“A sprinkler ban will be triggered by either our Te Marua storage lakes or the Hutt aquifer falling to set levels, or by not having enough water to keep the Wainuiomata treatment plant running. Without more rain, one of these triggers is likely to happen within a week,” says Cr Rex Kirton, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Parks, Forests and Utilities Committee.

The Te Marua storage lakes are 62% full at present. A drop to 50% would trigger a sprinkler ban. (In one week in January the lakes dropped 10% due to dry conditions and high water demand.) Switching off the Wainuiomata treatment plant or the Hutt aquifer level dropping to 2.5 metres would also trigger a sprinkler ban. (The Hutt aquifer level is currently just above 2.8 metres.)

Cr Kirton again called for everyone to use water with care. “The recent rain has only given us a few days' reprieve. I urge people to continue following a few simple water conservation measures, such as watering gardens by hand and putting off washing cars and houses with a hose.”

Greater Wellington supplies water to Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt, and Wellington cities. Local authorities would introduce a sprinkler and irrigation system ban at the request of Greater Wellington. Information on local water restrictions can be found on local council websites.


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