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



Climate Marches: New Zealanders March For Solutions Not Pollution

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris more than 15,000 New Zealanders have taken part in the Peoples Climate march in Auckland, kicking off the largest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen... More>>


Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news