Hamilton has moved to water alert level two for the first time this summer, with the increasing summer heat and demand for water prompting tighter restrictions today.
Based on recent water use, Hamilton is using 49 per cent (25 million litres) more water than is used in winter each day – equivalent to every single Hamilton resident having an extra 12-minute shower or using an additional bath full of water every day.
Hamilton's move to water alert level two will also affect residents in Tauwhare, Matangi and Gordonton, as these Waikato District areas are also supplied by Hamilton's water network. Residents in Waipā and other Waikato District Council areas have not yet moved to a water alert level.
Alert level two requires sprinkler and watering systems to only be used on alternate days, meaning if your street number is even then you can use your outdoor water systems on an even date.
However, if your street number is odd, then use is only permitted on odd dates of the month. Sprinkler use must be limited to between 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm on your designated days, while hand-held hosing is still permitted at any time.
Hamilton City Council waters manager Maire Porter says water is a precious resource and although it is perceived we have an abundance of water with the river running through our city, we face restrictions with how much is available to use.
"We have an obligation to ensure water taken from the river is used in a sustainable way.
"Hamilton city is only one of numerous users of the river and we are only allowed to take a certain amount from it each day," said Ms Porter.
"If everybody makes small changes to their daily routines, it can make a big impact on our water conservation. Simple ideas like shortening showers, not leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth, or washing your car on a patch of lawn that needs watering can actually save hundreds of litres per day – and all these individual savings really do add up."
Last summer, Hamilton reached alert level two on January 29 and continued on this alert until April 6.