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Council calls for water conservation as temperatures climb

Marlborough residents are encouraged to be mindful of their water use during the spate of hot, dry weather forecast for this week.

Temperatures are expected to exceed 30 degrees Celsius over the next five to seven days and the spike in the mercury will have a significant effect on the region’s water supplies.

Council’s Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney says it’s important that residents are careful about their use of water for irrigation during this period.

“Everyone, including Blenheim residents, should avoid irrigating their gardens or crops during the day.

“If people can reduce their water use voluntarily, we may be able to avoid water restrictions, particularly in the Wairau Valley, Picton, Renwick and Havelock.

“Over the past couple of summers Renwick residents have done a great job in voluntarily reducing their water use (irrigation). They have shown us voluntary restrictions work and we’re hoping everyone else will follow their lead over the next week or so.

“If we can get though the next week, and manage to save water by being careful when it comes to irrigating gardens, water restrictions may not be needed,” Stephen says.

Council has also advised river water irrigation users to monitor their usage and river levels closely. All Marlborough’s rivers have minimum flow levels at which consent holders are required to shut them off - several rivers are rapidly approaching those thresholds.

The Rai River fell below the 1 cubic metre per second (cumec) shutoff threshold on Sunday, and all consented takes from that river must now cease. The Wairau River is very close to the 8 cumec shutoff level, and will drop below that level sometime this week, possibly as early as Tuesday. Most other rivers in the district are dropping, and without rain may also become unavailable .

Please do:

• Take short showers - baths use far more water

• Fix any leaks and dripping taps

• Use full loads to wash clothes/dishes, less frequently

• Report water leaks on Council’s systems, e.g. leaking hydrant, valve or toby

• Check farm equipment, water troughs, reticulation network and water meters regularly for signs leakage.

Please limit:

• Irrigation to early in the morning and late in the evening to reduce water loss due to evaporation

• Washing vehicles

• Filling swimming pools

• Cleaning driveways/patios/houses with hose – use a broom instead.


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