As dry conditions bite, water restrictions have been stepped up in the Waikato to a level usually only seen in late summer.
Water Alert Level 2 is now in place in the Waikato district and Hamilton city, meaning domestic sprinkler systems are permitted only between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on alternate days of the week.
Organised by street address it means residents who live at properties that have odd-numbered street addresses are permitted to use their sprinkler systems between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on dates with odd numbers, while those living at properties with even-numbered street numbers can use their sprinkler systems between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on dates with even numbers.
The upgrade to Water Alert Level 2 came less than three weeks after the first restrictions were introduced in the Waikato and Hamilton last month.
Waikato District Council water & facilities general manager Richard Bax urged all residents to take immediate steps to conserve water.
“We ask that all residents abide by the new restrictions that have come into effect and take other steps to conserve water where ever possible – simple things like taking shorter showers, fixing leaking taps and washing cars with a bucket of water instead of a hose can all add up and help ease the demand we are currently experiencing.”
Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker said while summer had undoubtedly arrived early this year, it was very concerning to see that water consumption had risen so quickly.
“Water is a limited and precious resource, and we all need to change the way we view and use this resource to ensure a consistent supply throughout summer.”
The councils warned that if demand did not drop the region could face a total ban on domestic sprinklers, as well as restrictions on outdoor water use for commercial/non residential properties.
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