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Level Two Water Restrictions Start Wednesday Next Week

Level two water restrictions will come into force in the Whangarei District at 8am on Wednesday 26 February, and Level Three restrictions may not be far behind.

Water Services Manager Andrew Venmore said dam, river and groundwater levels have fallen in the Whangarei District and too little rain to replenish them is forecast in coming months.

“As a result, Whangarei District Council is establishing Level Two water restrictions in the Whangarei District at 8am on Wednesday 26 February 2020.”

For householders Level Two Restrictions ban sprinklers and, irrigation systems. For businesses they ban using sprinklers and/or irrigation systems on gardens, lawns and private fields, filling public fountains from water mains, taking construction water from water mains, watering sports fields except for those with approved watering plans. Council has imposed higher levels of restrictions in its parks and gardens for about a month already.

“Water restrictions will remain in place until water sources are sufficiently restored. Even when we get some rain it might not be enough to replenish the dam so restrictions will be in place until we are confident we have enough water for next summer.

Mr Venmore said introducing the restrictions was a conservative move, driven by the unusually dry conditions in the past 14 Months that had led to the current low river, dam and groundwater levels, plus limited rainfall forecast for the coming months.

“If we have normal rainfall this autumn, winter and spring, we will go back to normal quite quickly, but our concern is that if we have drier than usual seasons ahead, the water we have in the Whau Valley Dam right now is next year’s water as well.

“Whangarei residents have responded well to our calls over the past month to save water, dropping use across the district by 6.6 per cent since 12 February.

“This tells us that people are taking the message on board, but with the dam level due to fall to 60% next week, we need everyone to step their savings up a gear. Level two really just restricts a couple of water uses outdoors, but there are lots of ways people can save water indoors too. The bewaterwise.org.nz website has lots of useful tips and information about our water situation.”

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