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Hamilton Breaks Water Records – Despite Ongoing Restrictions

Hamilton has broken its own record for most water used in a day by the city last week, despite being under water restrictions.

Last Tuesday, 18 January, is the highest consumption day on record with nearly 91 million litres used by Hamilton’s 60,000 households and businesses. That works out on average to more than 10 bathtubs full of water per household, per day.

This high use day was also not a one-off, with the top three highest daily figures recorded across Sunday (88.42), Monday (88.92), and Tuesday (90.84 million litres).

Hamilton City Council Waters Unit Manager, Emily Botje, is concerned that people aren’t taking the ‘save water’ message seriously.

“The amount of water that we are currently using is alarming,” Botje said.

“Hamilton is just about at the maximum sustainable level of water processing that our plant is currently able to provide.

“We strongly urge residents to reduce the amount of water they are using, particularly outdoors, because there is extraordinary pressure on our network right now and we want to make sure we all continue to have enough in the coming weeks and months.

“At the same time, we recognise there are plenty of people who are doing the right thing, and we’d like to thank those Hamiltonians for their efforts.”

Hamilton is currently under level two of the Smart Water restrictions, with sprinklers only permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on alternate days. Handheld hosing is still allowed at any time.

The Smart Water restrictions have a strong focus on outdoor water use because although Hamilton’s water usage spikes during the hotter months, data suggests that a large proportion of water used by Hamiltonians is used outside. Only around half of the water used by the city ends up at the Pukete wastewater treatment plant, indicating that there can sometimes be up to 45 million litres of water being used to water lawns and gardens and top up swimming pools on the city’s hottest days.

“We can’t infinitely take, there are limits to this resource. We all have a responsibility to ensure we’re doing all we can to save water,” said Botje.

If water consumption remains at current levels, Hamilton could expect more restrictions to be put in place in the coming weeks.

For more tips on how you can be smart with water, visit smartwater.org.nz.

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