Dry weather stretches water supplies

Dry weather stretches water supplies

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

With little rain since October 2010 and more hot, dry weather predicted the STDC is asking residents and businesses to conserve water to make sure there is enough to last the summer.

STDC water supply manager, Peter Cook, says even though the district will get some rain in the next few days several of the district’s water supplies are stretched and people should conserve water where they can.

“November was an extremely dry month for South Taranaki and we received 50% less rain than usual. December was also well below normal, for example Patea only got 55% of its usual rainfall in December,” says Mr Cook. “This lack of rain and continuing dry weather is really stretching our resources as the district’s streams and ground water reserves run low and demand is high,” he says.

Waimate West, the district’s largest rural supply, is running at maximum capacity as are the Opunake/Rahoutu supplies. Hawera and Eltham supplies are holding steady while Patea and Waverley water supplies are stretched and partial water restrictions are in place there.

“Patea and Waverley areas are particularly stressed as the lack of rain has not let the town’s aquifers recharge which is why partial water restrictions were introduced,” says Mr Cook. ‘The Partial Water Restrictions in Patea/Waverley/Waiinu/Waverley Beach means all unattended hoses, sprinklers, and irrigation systems are banned. Hand held hoses may be used 7pm – 9pm by houses with even street numbers on even calendar dates, and odd numbered houses on odd calendar dates.

We appreciate the efforts of the community so far in conserving water and look forward to ongoing efforts over this dry summer,” says Mr Cook.

“There are other consumers downstream of our intakes so we need to consider them and  it is also good for the environment to conserve water at this time when streams are low and very warm,” he says.

Other ways to help conserve water include:

  • Avoid watering lawns (sprinklers are banned in Patea/Waverley/Waiinu/Waverley Beach)
  • Water plants directly on the root area
  • Take short showers rather than baths
  • Fix any leaks and dripping taps
  • Use full loads to wash clothes/dishes
  • Wash cars or boats seldom
  • Do not clean driveway/house with a hose
  • Report any leaks on the Council network so we can fix them