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The stream feeds the Te Awamutu and Pirongia water supplies and its level is now so low that water demand is now higher than the steam can supply. That’s despite an 18 per cent decrease in water demand from local residents, driven by the Smart Water Campaign.
Waipa District Council’s manager, water services Lorraine Kendrick said the consistently high temperatures, dry winds and lack of rain had forced the move. For the last two months, the whole Waipa district had been on water alert level 2, along with Hamilton city and the whole of the Waikato district. At this stage, only the status of Te Awamutu and Pirongia was being changed and pushed “up a level”.
“Our issue is not the demand, it’s the supply. Maintaining a supply of drinking water is our top priority and that means we need to take further action in Te Awamutu and Pirongia,” Ms Kendrick said.
“Local residents have already done a great job in responding to the Smart Water message but the very dry conditions, and no immediate likelihood of substantial rain, means we now need to take the next step.”
Water alert level 3 means there can be no use, at any time, of sprinklers or water systems in Te Awamutu or Pirongia. Hand held hosing is still allowed.
There are also restrictions on outdoor water use for commercial and non-residential properties in Te Awamutu and Pirongia, including reserves and sport facilities. Large industry, including Fonterra, whose water demand is currently low, had been advised of the change in status and were working closely with Council. Council parks staff will also be restricting their use of water.
Ms Kendrick stressed that water levels were being constantly monitored and there was no danger of either town running out of water as long as people were sensible. The alert levels across the entire Waipa district would be reviewed as soon as there was substantial rainfall, she said.
Media enquiries only: Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of Council) 027 5077 599