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Water restrictions introduced in Hamilton & Waikato district

Water restrictions introduced in Hamilton and Waikato district

27 November 2012

High water usage has seen water restrictions introduced in Hamilton and the Waikato today.

Hamilton city and Waikato district have been placed on water alert level 1, meaning use of domestic sprinkler and irrigation systems is permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm only.

Hamilton City Council City Waters Manager Tim Harty said it is concerning that consumption levels are so high this early on, particularly with weather forecasts of a hot, dry summer ahead.

“The fact we are experiencing such a high demand for water so early on, before summer has officially arrived, is extremely worrying. Unless we all take immediate steps to conserve water wherever possible tighter restrictions may be required in the coming weeks to ease pressure on our water supply and ensure a consistent supply throughout summer."

Waikato District Council Water and Facilities General Manager Richard Bax urged all residents to abide by the alert level 1 restrictions now in place and also take proactive steps to conserve water in other ways where possible.

“Water is a limited and precious resource so it is important we all do our bit to conserve it wherever possible. Even small things like fixing a leaking tap, not leaving the water running while brushing your teeth or making an effort to take shorter showers can help make a big difference.”

Waipa District Council also uses the same water alert level system as Hamilton and the Waikato district. Alert level 1 was introduced in the Waipa district on 19 November.

The decision to move between alert levels is made based on a number of factors including consumption, weather forecasts, drought conditions, river levels and annual trend data.

About the water alert level system:
Hamilton and Waikato’s water alert levels were developed in the summer of 2008/09, as part of Smart Water Use – a regional collaborative effort between Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council, Waipa District Council, Environment Waikato and other territorial authorities throughout the greater Waikato, aimed at encouraging residents to regard water as a ‘limited and precious resource’ and promoting proactive water conservation.

The water alert levels and their corresponding restrictions aim to guide water use in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer.

The water alert level system consists of four alert levels and corresponding restrictions:
• Alert level 1 – domestic sprinkler systems permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm only
• Alert level 2 – domestic sprinklers would only be permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on alternating days
• Alert level 3 – total ban on domestic sprinklers and restrictions on outdoor water use for commercial/non residential properties
• Alert level 4 – a total ban on all external non-essential use of water

The highest water alert level reached in Hamilton and the Waikato since the alert level system was introduced has been alert level 2, which was triggered three times in the past four years. Last summer alert level 1 proved sufficient to manage the city and district’s water demand without needing to move to alert level 2.

More information on water consumption and alert levels is available on www.hamilton.co.nz/water and www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz.

ENDS

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