Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Water shortage prospect as Wellington's great summer continues

Media release

21 February 2013

Water shortage prospect as Wellington’s great summer continues

Extra watering restrictions look increasingly likely as Wellington’s great summer continues. The latest regional weather forecast predicts little rain on the horizon for the next 14 days. If that outlook proves accurate then water use is likely to rise – a scenario that could see a water shortage.

The rivers that provide about two-thirds of the water supply for Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington remain at low levels and are dropping – that means less water can be taken each day for supply. Although rainfall has been average or above average over the past couple of months, it has been infrequent. This means that any rainfall runs off the ground and down the rivers quickly, resulting in only short-lived increases in river levels.

During the last spell of fine weather, approximately 100 million litres (ML) of water was being supplied from the rivers each day to help meet the increase in overall demand. Currently 130ML of water per day is available in the rivers, but without a good amount of rain in the water catchments soon, that number could drop to 100ML within the next 1-2 weeks.

Nigel Wilson, Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee Chairman, says the next few weeks will be crucial for water supply.

“What happens over the next couple of weeks – in terms of water use and how the weather forecast develops – is important. We need extra care from the community over the next few weeks to keep water use to a minimum, so what we’ve got available goes further,” says Cr Wilson.

“If the rivers can’t supply what’s needed, we’ll have to ask for a ban on garden sprinklers and irrigation systems. We’d also have to rely more heavily on the Hutt aquifer and look at activating a consent to take more water from the Hutt River at Kaitoke.”

While water is normally held in two storage lakes at Te Marua to supplement low river flows, only one of the lakes is available this summer as the other is being earthquake-strengthened. This stored water becomes increasingly important for meeting essential water needs as our rivers dwindle, so it must be managed carefully to ensure there’s enough to last in the event of a very long, dry spell.

Councillor Wilson says it’s important that people continue to take care with water. “Water use to date this summer has been quite restrained given the weather conditions, which is good news, but we need that extra degree of care from the public to continue – at least until a more regular rainfall pattern returns.”
Water saving tips:
• Use a flow control trigger on hoses
• Target watering close to the ground, at a rate the soil can absorb
• Put off non-essential outdoor jobs, like washing windows or the car, until autumn

For more water saving tips visit http://www.gw.govt.nz/water

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news