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

 


Wellington water shortage – update – 15/3/13

Wellington water shortage – update – 15 March 2013

Wellingtonians are asked to do their bit to conserve water as the current drought continues to worsen.

Rain may be forecast for this weekend – but it is not expected to make a significant dent in the water shortage affecting the region.

Water levels in our local rivers – the source of our water supply - are extremely low and dropping. A significant reduction in demand for water will extend the number of days that back-up storage will last, so it’s important to save water now.

From Saturday 16 March there will be a ban on all outdoor water use in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Upper Hutt until further notice. This includes sprinklers, irrigation systems, hoses and watering cans.

This ban is needed to ensure there will be enough water for the essential needs of households, businesses and public services in the event the current dry period continues. Extra restrictions may be needed if our water reserves continue to drop.

If businesses rely on water for their outdoor work – painting firms that use water blasters, for example - we ask that they be prudent with their use of water at this stage and not use water if at all possible. If the water shortage continues we may also have to impose a total ban on commercial outdoor activity.


How you can help save water
Adopting simple water saving measures now will help Wellington avoid a severe water crisis.

We’re asking all water users to reduce their water use by at least 30 litres per person per day. Depending on the type of toilet, this is about the same amount of water as three to four full flushes.

Put a full bottle of water in your toilet cistern if you don’t have a dual flush toilet, or limit the time you spend in the shower. Fix any leaks around the house and don’t run taps unnecessarily – turn the tap off when you’re cleaning your teeth. It all sounds like small stuff, but together it adds up.

Greater Wellington Regional Council will update its website regularly to show how the efforts to reduce water use are going. To view these updates visit http://www.gw.govt.nz/water


What about the garden?
From Saturday 16 March you won’t be able to use a hose or mains water to irrigate your garden – but there is nothing to stop residents from, say, putting a bucket in the shower and collecting water while you’re showering. This water – which would otherwise go straight down the drain, can be used to water the garden.

Similarly, why not think about using water from cooking, or from washing the dishes, to put on the garden?


Enforcement
So far it appears Wellingtonians are taking the water shortage seriously and are cutting back on usage. However local councils will respond to complaints about breaches of the outdoor water ban. Warnings will be issued and councils reserve the right to prosecute if warnings are ignored. The maximum fine for breaches of the ban is $20,000.

If you are aware of unlawful water use then call Wellington City Council on 499 4444 and we’ll investigate.


What Wellington City Council is doing
The City Council has to do its bit too – and because the Council has the power to impose the outdoor-use ban, there is already intense public interest in how we are dealing with the water shortage.

We have made the tough decision that we will cease the daily irrigation – from the mains - of our sportsfields and gardens immediately – except for our most valuable and vulnerable plants. While we reserve the right to review this decision, because a lack of water clearly has serious implications for the wellbeing of our grass surfaces especially, we have to demonstrate to residents that we are cutting back on water use as well.

An exception is Waitangi Park on Wellington's waterfront. This can continue to be irrigated using water from the Waitangi Stream, which runs under the park.

We are cutting back on water use at a range of Council facilities.

For example we will immediately ask people to avoid, if possible, using our showers at our pools and sports pavilions. The showers are actually one of the biggest consumers of water across the Council. We are also cutting back on the replenishment of pool water and on hose-down pressures.

We are turning off fountains and water features across the city as much as possible (one notable exception is the Bucket Fountain in the Cuba Mall. This uses recirculated water – and we have found that the fountain quickly becomes damaged if the water is turned off – people start climbing on it).

We have closed wash-down facilities at such locations as our marinas and the Makara Peak mountainbike park.

We are ceasing use of pressure washers for routine work around the city and only deploying them where a spillage introduces a public health or environmental risk. We will also stop mechanical road sweeping in areas where water is required to dampen dust.

We are looking at possible alternative emergency sources of water if the drought situation worsens. These include, for example, the dam at Zealandia and possible drawing of water from the stormwater network to water sportsfields.

We are getting in touch with the city’s big water users – including the likes of Capital & Coast District Health Board, the Fire Service, the universities and Taylor Preston – to ask them to work hard to reduce water use. We’re also talking to golf clubs and bowling clubs and asking them to stop watering.

While rain is forecast for this weekend and possibly early next week, if the supply situation further worsens then we may have to impose more stringent bans – including a full ban on outdoor water use by commercial operators.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news