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Level Three Water Restrictions are now in place for Levin

8 December 2017

Level Three Water Restrictions are now in place for Levin

This morning Horowhenua District Council announced Level Three Water Restrictions for Levin.

Water and Waste Services Manager Paul Gaydon said the Council is required to implement Level 3 water restrictions when flows in the Ohau River drop below 1000 litres per second under the conditions of the Ohau Take Consent granted by Horizons Regional Council.

Due to the continuing hot, dry weather, flows in the Ohau River have fallen steadily since Thursday 30 November, when Level Two restrictions began.

“We understand the difficulties water restrictions cause for residents. Unfortunately, NIWA is predicting a warmer than normal summer, and we expect the water restrictions to continue,” Mr Gaydon said.

“We urge everyone to conserve water. To contribute to water-saving efforts, Council has cancelled the cleaning of all its facilities and Council contractors are using only non-drinkable bore water for services such as roading, parks and reserves.”

Level Three Water Restrictions mean:

• Garden sprinklers and soak hoses are banned.

• Handheld hoses, watering cans or bucket may only be used on Tuesday and Thursdays, between 7pm and 9pm.

• Hosing of paved areas is prohibited except in an emergency. The use of a bucket filled from a tap is permitted.

• Portable swimming pools must not be filled. Swimming pools and spas may only be topped up by handheld hoses, watering cans or buckets filled directly from taps. New swimming pools may only be filled with the written permission of the Council’s Water and Waste Services Manager.

• Water-jetting is banned. Water must not be used to clean windows, cars, boats or other vehicles except by means of a bucket or watering can filled directly from a tap.

Water restrictions: Questions & Answers

Water restrictions are in place across Horowhenua. To provide more information on why we need water restrictions, when they are imposed and what they mean for you, Horowhenua District Council’s Water and Waste Services Manager Paul Gaydon answers some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q: Does Council have to impose water restrictions?

A: Yes. Council has to impose water restrictions to ensure a continuous supply for everyone during very dry weather conditions as well as meeting compliance requirements with Resource Consent conditions. Also, some users do waste water during these dry periods; it is not uncommon to see lawns being irrigated with water overflowing onto the road. These types of practices do not help the situation.

Q: Why are there water restrictions in Levin, Shannon and Tokomaru?

A: The weather was unusually hot and dry in October and November. Horowhenua usually gets 187 millimetres (mm) of rain over these two months, but this year the District got only 56mm. This has reduced water flows in the rivers that supply water for these communities.

Q: Why are there water restrictions in Foxton and Foxton Beach?

A: Water supply plants for Foxton and Foxton Beach have limited production capacity and water restrictions are put in place to avoid shortages when conditions are hot and dry and demand for water is high.

Q: What triggers water restrictions in Levin?

A: Water restrictions in Levin are triggered by dropping river flows in the Ohau River. Horowhenua District Council implements Level 1 restrictions for Levin when the river flow is at 2500 litres per second (L/s), Level 2 at 1500L/s, Level 3 at 1000L/s and Level 4 at 820L/s.

Q: What triggers water restrictions in Shannon and Tokomaru?

A: Water restrictions in Shannon and Tokomaru are triggered by dropping river flows in the Tokomaru Farmland River. Council implements Level 1 restrictions when the river flow is at 350L/s, Level 2 at 250L/s, Level 3 at 200L/s and Level 4 at 150L/s.

Q: How much water storage does Levin have?

A: The Levin Water Treatment plant stores one day’s supply of water, which is above average for New Zealand.

Q: Why doesn’t Horowhenua have a water storage dam?

A: Few places in New Zealand have water storage dams. Dams are costly to construct and maintain however, providing additional storage will be considered over the coming years.

Q: Why do I see Council contractors using water when restrictions are in place?

A: Council has a number of consents with Horizons Regional Council to extract water from bore holes for irrigation and general purposes. Council’s contractors use the bore water for operational activities.

Q: How long will the restrictions last?

A: The MetService forecasts an unusually hot, dry summer. Council expects the water restrictions to remain in place for much of the summer.

Q: How often will we have water restrictions in the future?

A: Due to New Zealand’s Mediterranean-type climate of hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters, we can expect to have water restrictions most years.

Q: Are other areas of New Zealand under water restrictions?

A: Yes. Many other parts of New Zealand are under water restrictions, including Napier, Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, Palmerston North and Wellington.

Residents can obtain further information on the Water Services page of the Council’s website, www.horowhenua.govt.nz, or by contacting Horowhenua District Council on (06) 366 0999 orenquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz.


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