Water crisis in Hastings

By LAWRENCE GULLERY

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The hot weather has forced Hastings District Council to appeal for people to cut back on water use as the dry summer conditions steer the region closer towards a water crisis situation not seen since the late 1990s.

The council is asking its residential water users to go easy - especially when it comes to irrigating gardens and lawns.

Yesterday it ticked off the second stage of its water conservation programme at its work and services committee meeting.

People would only be able to use their sprinkler or hose between 6am and 8am and 7pm and 9pm. It did not apply to residents in Waimarama who were already on a total irrigation ban.

Committee chairwoman Margaret Twigg said savings in water use now could reduce the impact in the height of summer.

"With the recent warm, settled weather and predictions of a hot, dry summer, it is inevitable we will have to impose water conservation measures in the urban area this summer," Ms Twigg said.

She said the current water consumption rate was close to the limits set by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

"The second stage of water conservation measures are now in place. How stringent these become will depend on how well the community responds to saving water," she said.

"There are so many small steps we can all make that add up to a significant water saving each day."

Garden and lawn irrigation stretches the district's ability to cope with water demand.

Some people in the more elevated areas of Havelock North were already affected by reduced pressure caused by increased water consumption.

She added: "If we are sensible about our water use then further restrictions might be avoided. A lot depends on how well we respond to these early measures."

The water conservation campaign would include messages with the regional and Napier city councils across all media platforms.

"We need to get people to think about the conditions when they turn the tap on at home.

"We need to get the message out there demonstrating the best way to use water, and that we can keep the garden alive using far less water," Ms Twigg said.

The council's water service manager Brett Chapman said the last time water restrictions were enforced on residential areas was in the late 1990s.

To find out about other simple changes which will help reduce your water consumption go to www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/water-conservation

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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