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Dire Need For Water Savings In Picton And Waikawa

Every drop counts - that’s the message from Marlborough District Council to Picton and Waikawa residents who have been asked to urgently reduce their water consumption.

From tomorrow, Friday 12 January, a total hosing ban is in place for Picton and Waikawa residents as well as no boat washing at launching ramps in the town, no car washing and limits on Council’s irrigation of local parks.

Despite Council and community efforts to reduce water usage this week, continued hot weather, lack of rainfall and high demand means tighter restrictions are required immediately to prevent the loss of supply to Picton and Waikawa.

“Water restrictions requiring Picton and Waikawa residents to limit their sprinkler use to alternate days have made a small impact and we appreciate people’s efforts. However, this has not been as effective as we had hoped,” said Council’s Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney.

“We are now asking locals to do more to save water immediately. Don’t use sprinklers or the garden hose, take a short shower, turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth and don’t wash your car. Every single action will help us avoid a loss of supply,” Stephen said.

Water recently stopped flowing over the Essons Valley dam due to low rainfall, high levels of evapotranspiration and high summer demand, so the township is now reliant on the Speeds Road supply and reservoirs at the Elevation and Victoria Domain.

“Speeds Road cannot keep up with Picton’s water usage which means, without rain, we are slowly losing water from the reservoirs. This cannot continue as we need to keep adequate levels in the reservoirs to cater for short outages at Speeds Road and for firefighting purposes.”

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The new measures are:

  • A total hosing ban from Friday morning
  • No washing of boats at the Picton and Waikawa marina boat ramps, in agreement with Port Marlborough
  • No car washing
  • This Friday, Saturday and Sunday Council will not irrigate Endeavour Park
  • The water fountain on the Picton Foreshore will shut down for now.

“If we all do our bit and if storage capacity can be restored over the weekend, we may be able to enable handheld hosing again and resume the irrigation of parks at a reduced level,” Stephen said.

He has discussed the restriction with cruise industry representatives to make them aware of the water restrictions in the town. He said the largest water use in Picton and Waikawa is on gardens, at marinas and the irrigation of large open spaces. The Foreshore fountain also uses a significant amount of water each day.

The restrictions apply to all properties on the Picton and Waikawa supply until further notice.

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