Water Restrictions Introduced

Water Restrictions Introduced

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lack of rain and high demand have resulted in water restrictions being introduced today (Wednesday 28 Jan) for Hawera, Ohawe, Normanby and the rural Waimate West Water Supply Scheme which includes the townships of Kaponga and Manaia.

The restrictions mean all unattended hoses, sprinklers, and irrigation systems are banned. Hand held hoses may be used before 6 am or after 6 pm, but not during the day.

SouthTaranaki District Council (STDC) water supply manager, Peter Cook, says water supplies in Waimate West, the district’s largest rural supply, are critically low.

“We’ve had virtually no rain all month so our rivers are very stressed. In some parts of the district we’ve only received about 5% of the rainfall we would normally get in January and streams like the Kapuni are already at a 5 year low,” says Mr Cook. 

“Because of the hot, dry weather stock are drinking much more. This is also exacerbated by the fact that because there is little grass growth many farmers are feeding their stock with dry feed, which makes them drink even more. Consequently the demand in Waimate West is much higher than what we are allowed to take from the river so we are transferring some of our Hawera supply to help keep Waimate West running. By using our Hawera supply we are able to continue to supply Waimate West without exceeding our consent limit and we minimise the environmental impact,” he says.

“Consumers need to limit water use wherever possible, look for and fix any leaks,” says Mr Cook. “Hopefully this way our streams and rivers will be able to recover and we’ll be able to get through the summer without running out.”

Mr Cook says there may be some relief in sight with the possibility of light rain later in the week/weekend and showers into next week. However similar predictions for rain earlier in the month came to nothing.

Restrictions have not yet been introduced in other parts of the district however demand in these supplies is being closely monitored. “Many of our other water supplies are fed by underground bores so they are not so badly affected, however all residents need to conserve water now to ensure we can get through without having to bring in further restrictions.”

The Waimate West Water Supply takes in the area around Pihama in the west, down to Ohawe in the south and inland towards the Mountain up to Rowan Road.

Water restrictions are already in place in the New Plymouth and Stratford Districts and a total fire ban will be in place across the whole of Taranaki from Midnight Thursday (29 January).

Other ways to help conserve water include:

  • Avoid watering lawns (unattended hoses,sprinklers and irrigation systems are banned in Waimate West/Kaponga/Manaia/Hawera/Ohawe/Normanby)
  • Take short showers rather than baths
  • Fix any leaks and dripping taps
  • Use full loads to wash clothes/dishes
  • Don’t wash cars/house/driveways with hose
  • Report any leaks to the Council