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Trial To Adjust Commercial Water Restrictions Comes With A Warning

Mayor Phil Goff today warned that a trial to slightly ease commercial water restrictions, which starts today, does not mean that more permanent adjustments to restrictions are guaranteed as Auckland moves into summer.

“With major industrial users voluntarily cutting water use by up to 20 per cent and a big effort by Aucklanders to reduce their household usage, we have collectively saved around 40 million litres a day.

“New water sources and securing agreement to take more water from the Waikato River has increased water supply by 25 million litres a day, which will increase to 40 million litres by December and 90 million litres by next July.

“However, despite these major advances, a dry spring to date on top of two years of drought means our dams are currently 66 per cent full compared to the normal average of over 90 per cent. That means we need to continue to exercise restraint,” Mayor Phil Goff said.

“The adjustment of mandatory restrictions is expected to have only a limited impact on overall water use and is being introduced to ease financial pressures on small businesses already impacted by COVID-19.

“The Exterior Cleaning Industry Association has introduced a new Code of Practice to ensure best water conservation practice, supported by a certified training programme.”

“Commercial outdoor houses and water blasters must be equipped with a handheld trigger nozzle. Commercial car washes will also be allowed to operate; however, the ban on the use of fire hydrants for outdoor construction will continue.

“There are no changes to the ban on outdoor hoses for residential users, who will need to continue using buckets for things like watering the garden or washing the car.

“The easing of restrictions on commercial users will be monitored closely and if drought continues, restrictions may need to be re-imposed. Council and Watercare are continuing to urge businesses and households to keep saving water. We all need to do our part if we are to get through summer without tighter mandatory restrictions.

“If we get sufficient rain, we may be able to adjust restrictions further, however, some form of restrictions through summer will likely need to continue as is the situation in many other cities around the country.”

Councillor Linda Cooper, who chairs the Regulatory Committee and is the liaison councillor for Watercare, said, "Lower rainfall is now with us for years to come. Let's use this opportunity to make permanent some of the really good water saving habits we've all been using over the last few months at home and work."

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