Why do we need to conserve water?
People often wonder why we need to conserve water in an area which seems to have plenty of rain.
The reality is there is not a never ending supply of fresh water. Most of our districts water comes directly from steep, fast flowing rivers and we are limited in the amount of water we are allowed to take from these sources (The Council must apply to the Regional Council for consents to take water from our rivers and streams - because our rivers and streams are relatively small and fast flowing they are environmentally fragile). Because of the geography of South Taranaki there aren't any large storage areas or large bodies of water to access. We rely on reservoirs but these don't hold much with most holding less than a day's storage. That is one reason why the Council is investing around $100 million in our water infrastructure.
On top of this the soils in South Taranaki are porous and drain quickly and we experience drying winds. We can only go ten days without significant rainfall before land becomes very dry. At the same time demand for demand for water is increasing each year.
During summer in particular, extended periods of low rainfall and warm weather can restrict the volume of water available to treat and increases demand significantly to the point where existing infrastructure is not able to keep up with demand. For example last summer the Waimate West rural water scheme reached the point where consumption matched the consent limit. Trends indicate that over the next few summers consumption will exceed supply unless we start conserving water and wasting less.
Conserving water will help the environment
By adopting a water efficient lifestyle we will also reduce our impact on the environment (by taking less water from our rivers and streams) and waste less of a limited resource.
Everyone can do their bit to save water - every little bit counts
The easiest way to begin is to eliminate the leaks that cause most of the water waste in homes. For example by replacing a worn washer in a tap you can save up to 5,000 litres of water per month
Water is a valuable resource. We do not have an unlimited amount. Trends indicate that unless we reduce consumption demand will soon exceed supply. We need to reduce consumption and wastage of this resource all year round to ensure continuity of supply and to keep costs down.