Dry brings sprinkler ban

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A total ban on domestic sprinklers and irrigation systems and restrictions on outdoor water use for commercial properties comes into force today in the Waikato district.

Ongoing hot, dry weather is forecast

The increase in water restrictions, to Water Alert Level 3, permits hand held watering at any time. The new restrictions follow rising water consumption figures and forecasts of ongoing hot, dry weather for the district. It also applies in Hamilton and Waipa.

Hamilton City Council City Waters Manager Tim Harty said the city’s water use had been climbing steadily over the past week, with 77 million litres used on Monday compared to an average usage this time of year of around 60 million litres.

“Our long hot summer continues and with it has come increasing demand for water. Thanks to those who have abided by the water restrictions to date, but we now need to ensure water is used in a sustainable manner.”

Waikato District Council Water and Facilities General Manager Richard Bax said many areas of both council’s business have already reduced water use.

“Between both councils we have stopped fleet washing, building washing, pipe flushing, and turned off fountains. We have reduced the watering of flower beds and parks, and reduced the use of water by roading contractors.“

A range of methods are being used around the city and district to ensure residents are aware of the new restrictions, including posters, signs on arterial routes, electronic message boards, social media and newspaper and radio advertising. Direct contact is ongoing with major commercial and non-residential water users around essential and non-essential outdoor water use.

Anyone with concerns about improper water use can report this by phoning the district council on 0800 492 452.

The decision to move between alert levels is made based on a number of factors including consumption, weather forecasts, drought conditions, river levels and annual trend data.

Monitoring of daily water use and Waikato River and Lake Taupo levels is ongoing as part of reviewing water restriction levels.

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