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Waikato moves to Water Alert Level 2

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate release

Waikato moves to Water Alert Level 2

5 February 2014


The Waikato is moving to Water Alert Level 2.

A prolonged spell of dry warm weather and an increase in average temperatures has prompted Waikato District, Waipa District and Hamilton City Councils to move to Water Alert Level 2 effective from today.

This means sprinklers and watering systems can only be used on alternative days(e.g. even street numbers on even days; odd street numbers on odd days) between 6- 8am and 6- 8pm, while hand held hosing can be used any time. For example, number 5 Smith Street can use their sprinkler on 5, 7 and 9 February.
Hamilton City Council City Waters Manager Andrew Parsons says they’ve seen a sustained increase in water consumption over recent weeks.

“When making the decision to increase our water alert levels we take a number of factors into consideration including increased temperatures, rain forecasts as well as our infrastructure’s ability to treat and distribute water.”
“While we have seen showers indicated in the long range forecast, we would need a sustained period of rain to keep us at Water Alert Level 1 which is why we have made the decision to move to Level 2.”

However he thanks the community for their efforts so far. “The ongoing water consumption efforts of the community have not gone unnoticed. Going forward it’s important we continue to use our limited water resource responsibly and appreciate everyone’s ongoing consideration this summer.

Waipa District Council Manager Water Services Lorraine Kendrick says the step up to the next water alert level is about taking a cautious approach for a long-term, regional wide solution. “Although the ten day weather forecast is for rain it’s likely we’ll only get light showers and that provides short term relief. We would need sustained rainfall over a period of days to alleviate our long-term concerns.”

Waikato District Council Chief Executive, Gavin Ion says their community is fully aware of the need to be smart with their water use. “It’s not hard to understand the need to be conservative about water use when you take a drive through the countryside. It’s very dry and brown.”

Although commercial and non residential properties aren’t covered by the restrictions they are being encouraged to introduce smart water systems wherever possible.

Mr Ion says “Business owners can apply similar rules from home to their businesses such as half flush the toilet not full, or washing the tea dishes by hand in small amounts of water. It all helps!”

The Water Alert Levels are part of a Smart Water Starts with You! sub-regional campaign. The campaign aims to make long-term change to how we use water and is a joint venture between Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council.

About the Water Alert level system:
The Water Alert Levels and their corresponding requirements are a way to encourage water use in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer.

The water alert level system consists of four alert levels and corresponding requirements:

[1] Use sprinkler systems between 6am – 8am and
6pm – 8pm. Hand-held hosing can be used anytime.
[2] Use sprinkler systems on alternate days between
6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm.
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime.
[3] No use of sprinklers.
Hand-held hosing only.
[4] No use of outside water systems at any time.


ENDS


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