A recent dramatic increase in water consumption levels in the Waikato has triggered the introduction of sprinkler restrictions.
From today, domestic sprinklers can only be used from 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm.
The restrictions, which apply to the Waikato district and Hamilton city, have come in almost a month earlier than usual.
Water consumption levels have risen dramatically since Labour Weekend in both the district and city prompting a level 1 alert, the lowest of a four-step scale.
Waikato district Water & Facilities General Manager Richard Bax said in a statement that a number of factors were taken into account when determining whether to introduce a new water alert level.
“The decision to move between alert levels is made based on factors such as consumption, weather forecasts and drought conditions, river levels and annual trends,” he said.
The highest water alert level reached in the Waikato and Hamilton since the system was introduced in summer 2008/09 has been level 2, which was triggered during the past two summers.
Hamilton City Council City Waters Manager Tim Harty said it was concerning that consumption levels were so high so early on, particularly with weather forecasters predicting a hot, dry summer.
The four-level alert level system and its corresponding four-step restrictions are part of Smart Water Use – a regional collaboration between the Waikato District, Hamilton City, Environment Waikato and other territorial authorities throughout the greater Waikato, aimed at encouraging residents to regard water as a limited and precious resource, and promoting proactive water conservation.
• Alert level 1 – domestic sprinkler systems permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm only
• Alert level 2 – domestic sprinklers permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on alternating days
• Alert level 3 – total ban on domestic sprinklers and restrictions on outdoor water use for commercial/non residential properties
• Alert level 4 – a total ban on all external non-essential use of water
Click here for more on water use and rules in the Waikato district. (NB: not yet updated re latest restrictions).