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Sprinkler ban to be lifted

Sprinkler ban to be lifted

28 APRIL 2008

Immediate release

The total ban on sprinkler use in Hamilton will end this month. As of Thursday 1 May, Hamilton residents may resume watering gardens and lawns without restriction.

The total sprinkler ban was introduced in January after unprecedented dry weather and high water consumption in the city. With drought conditions persisting for months and the levels of the Waikato River dropping significantly, the ban has remained in place until now.

The combination of recent rainfall, the natural reestablishment of city grass and low water usage levels has meant that it is now viable for the city to return to normal water consumption habits.

Works and Services general manager Chris Allen says that city residents did an exemplary job in responding to the ban.

“Not only did the vast majority of residents comply with the sprinkler ban, it was clear that water conservation efforts have been made across the board. Those efforts have resulted in consumption in the 40-50ML range per day vs. the 70-80ML consumption we saw earlier in the year. Consistent consumption at this level has meant we are now in a good position to lift the ban.

“In order to fully asses the impact of this decision we have worked in close consultation with drought managers, Environment Waikato and also with Mighty River Power. While from a regional perspective the drought it still causing concern in areas, the city situation and immediate environ has stabilised and we are confident that a lift of the ban is now appropriate and safe.”

Mr Allen says that the barge brought into the city for water pumping would also be removed from the river this week.

“A contingency plan was necessary to ensure continuous water supply to the city, should the river levels continue to drop. We are greatly relieved that this has not been the case. Testing of the pumping system has been a valuable exercise and we now have a ready solution should the scenario repeat itself in future years.”


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