Water restrictions forced by demand

An increasing demand in water use combined with hot, dry weather conditions and the return home of holidaymakers has prompted Waipa District Council to move to Alert Level 2 effective immediately.

This means sprinklers can only be used on alternate days between the hours of 6-8am and 6-8pm. People living at addresses with an odd street number can use sprinklers on dates ending in an odd number and people living at addresses with an even street number can use sprinklers on dates ending in an even number.

Water services manager Lorraine Kendrick said water demand had increased in the lead up to the festive season, however, the decision was made not to increase the water alert level as demand historically dropped off as people went on their summer holidays.

However, in the past week as people began returning home, there had been a steady increase in demand and water use was now at a level where further action needed to be taken to ensure a consistent supply throughout the summer and high demand periods, she said.

Hamilton City and Waikato District councils have also raised their water Alert Level to 2.

Mrs Kendrick said everyone had a part to play in helping reduce demand.

Nearly two-thirds of water used by householders during the summer goes into the garden. Often it is wasted and too little is absorbed by the plants.

To help reduce this wastage try use the following tips:

Avoid watering in the heat of the day or in windy weather.

Water your plants every fourth day in the summer, but water for longer periods. This makes the plants hardier and encourages the roots to go deeper into the soil.

If you have a lot of annuals or ferns, use a micro spray system. This will ensure water is absorbed and not wasted.

Use a timer with your sprinkler. A forgotten sprinkler wastes more than 1000 litres of water per hour.

Water the roots, not the leaves. Watering the leaves is not beneficial as it increases water loss through evaporation.

Use a trigger hose to control the water while moving the hose around.

Use a good mulch. This can prevent up to 70 per cent of evaporation loss. Well rotted compost is best.

Don't water the paths. Cleaning with a broom is quicker and more efficient.

Don't allow children to play with the hose. They can waste over 1000 litres of water every hour.

There are a number of water saving devices that can assist you with conserving water outdoors.

Changes in alert levels will be notified in local newspapers on the council's website www.waipadc.govt.nz and on its Facebook page.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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