Gardeners reaching for hoses and sprinklers during recent hot, dry weather have pushed water consumption in the district up and triggered early water restrictions.
From Friday (21 Dec) unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden watering systems (using reticulated water) can only be used between 7pm and 9pm by designated households from Raumati to Ōtaki. Even numbered houses can water on even days and odd numbered houses on odd numbered days. Handheld hoses can be used anytime.
Sean Mallon Group Manager Infrastructure Services says the restrictions are necessary because the unusually sunny and dry pre-Christmas period has seen consumption rise markedly.
“The restrictions are triggered when demand exceeds 18,000 cubic meters a day on weeknights or 20,000 cubic meters a day on weekends. Under our current resource consent we can only take 23,000 cubic meters a day from the Waikanae River and we came close to that last weekend.”
Mr Mallon says while there may have been some rain this week there hasn’t been significant rainfall for a while and the sun and wind have combined to dry the place out.
If consumption continues to rise Council can impose Stage two restrictions which totally ban the use of unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden watering systems.
“Hopefully it won’t come to that but we are asking people, especially keen gardeners, to be responsible about water use so that everybody doesn’t end up being penalised.”
NIWA is predicting average rainfall this summer. Last year the District experienced higher than average rainfall and no water restrictions were imposed.
Council has a range of services to help residents conserve water both inside and outside their homes. To access advice go to www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/greenservicesno