Domestic sprinkler ban remains in force

A total ban on domestic sprinklers remains is still in force in the Waipa district as water demand remains high.

Waipa District Council water services manager Lorraine Kendrick said although there had been a small amount of rain last week and demand had eased compared to previous weeks, there was still a need to have the ban in place.

“The long hot dry spells we have experienced this summer are forecast to continue for some weeks yet, so we have to manage demand wisely,” she said.

There was a misconception that because the Cambridge supply was taken from the Waikato River there was no need for restrictions.

“As a district we are limited on the amount of water we take from all our sources through consents, under which, we must demonstrate we are managing demand responsibly,” said Mrs Kendrick.

“It is not a matter of just being able to take as much water we need, or want,” she said.

There was also a limit on the capacity of the water treatment plants and while the council planned to increase its water storage capacity, due to consent conditions for the drawing of water restrictions would not disappear.

Mrs Kendrick said the introduction of universal water meters as planned in the council’s 10-Year Plan would be one of the best tools to manage demand.

“We plan to install water meters on all properties across the district that are connected to our supply by 2021/22, starting with Te Awamutu in the 2015/16 year ,” she said.

“That will go some way to ensuring we meet our regulatory requirement to manage water sustainably and provide a mechanism for measuring and manage water demand.”

Waikato Regional Council last week issued a press release saying while rain earlier in the week had had a positive impact of river and stream levels in the Waikato region it was nowhere near enough to ease concerns about further potential water take restrictions in the near future.

It urged all those with water take consents – such as irrigators, municipal users, farmers and industry, which includes Waipa District Council – to stay up to date with river flows and to not use more water than they are allowed during periods of low flow.

“Every one of us has a part to play in ensuring water is used wisely.  It is a precious resource and cannot be taken for granted,” said Mrs Kendrick.

“It is not a matter of just taking as much water as we need from our water ways.  We have to strike a balance between managing demand and meeting our legislative requirements,” she said.

“Our residents have responded well to the move to Water Alert Level 3 and we have noticed an increase in the number of complaints about people using sprinklers during the total ban.  There has also been a rise in the number of people reporting water leaks around the district. 

“It is great to see so many people taking a proactive approach and for that we say thank you and keep using water wisely.”

 
ENDS
 
For further information contact
Lisa Nairne
Senior Communications Advisor
Ph: 07 872 0062 or 027 532 1760
Email: lisa.nairne@waipadc.govt.nz

 

Page reviewed: 18 Apr 2017 1:07pm