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 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.
Tips and hints to save more water
IN THE BATHROOM & LAUNDRY
Shorter showers save water.
Use a bucket to catch surplus water in the shower while you are waiting for it to heat up. When the water has cooled down, you can use it on the garden.
Wait until you have a full load before starting the washing machine.
Soak your washing in a bucket. When you have finished, water those parched plants!
IN THE KITCHEN
Turn your dishwasher on only when you have a full load.
Wash your fruit and vegies in a bowl, rather than running the tap, and then reuse the water.
Compost or worm farm your food scraps. Waste disposal units use 30 litres of water daily.
Use a timer on your sprinklers – saves you forgetting to turn them off.
A good quality mulch on the garden retains moisture, stops those pesky weeds and adds goodness to the earth as it breaks down.
Watering your garden earlier in the morning or later in the evening minimises evaporation and maximises absorption.
Grow your lawn a little longer in summer.
ON THE FARM
Check your meter regularly. If your consumption seems higher than usual, you could have a leak that is wasting water and costing you money.
Check that ball cocks on troughs are set correctly and have not been damaged. If a ball cock is set too high it could spill water during windy conditions or overflow constantly.
Re-use the pre-cooler water that chills down milk.
Use wash down water for irrigation.
Capture rainwater and use it wherever possible.
Use correct pump and pipe sizes. If your pipes are too small, they will restrict the flow of water. By using the appropriate pipe size, you can actually get more pressure with less flow.