With Hamilton's water use remaining very high and the temperature due to hit 29 deg C on Sunday the city council is concerned water use will continue to increase

Due to the increase in water use earlier this summer and increasingly warm and dry weather, Hamilton moved to Water Alert Level Two on Tuesday, which means sprinkler systems can be used on alternate days between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm.

Despite the restrictions, Hamilton's water is still very high and today the city council announced it is deploying sprinkler monitors and is encouraging anyone noticing water being wasted to report the offenders.

Hamilton City Council City Waters Manager Maire Porter says: "Our concern is that usage will continue to increase.

Advertisement

"Being smart with the way we use our water is an absolute necessity.

"Hamilton has avoided Water Alert Level Three for the last few years, but if we continue using water at the same level, we will not be able to avoid it this year," says Ms Porter.

Hamilton is among many other users of water from Waikato River and there is only so much water that the city is allowed to use. Photo / Alice Rose Tiffany
Hamilton is among many other users of water from Waikato River and there is only so much water that the city is allowed to use. Photo / Alice Rose Tiffany

The Hamilton restrictions also apply to Waikato District residents of Tauwhare, Matangi and Gordonton who are connected to the city water supply.

Almost half of Hamilton's water use in January has been outdoors and there has been a 30 per cent increase of outdoor water use this January, compared to the same time last year.

A large proportion of Hamilton's outdoor water use is from the use of sprinklers, with people sometimes using more and using them longer than needed.

Pop-up pools can also be a water waster, with the water inside often being discarded instead of treated and reused.

Hamilton has recently been using 25 million litres more water per day than the amount used in a winter day. This is equivalent to every single Hamilton resident using an additional bath full of water every day.

If this high level of water use continues further restrictions will be implemented.

Advertisement

"It's little changes that make the biggest difference. If we are all more mindful of our water usage then we can ensure that there is a fair share of water to go around," says Ms Porter.

Hamilton City has resource consent to take water from the river, however this is not an unlimited supply. Hamilton is among many other river users and there is only so much water that we're allowed to use.

"Our water systems are in place to provide water at a day-to-day level. It would be uneconomical to fund an upgrade to the water system or build additional infrastructure just to meet high water use that occurs for such a short period each year," says Ms Porter.

Ms Porter advises everyone to check out Smart Waters water smart tips and see how they can incorporate them into their everyday lives.

The Water Alert Levels and their corresponding requirements are a way to use water in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer.

More information on the water restrictions can be found here.

About the water alert level system

The water alert level system consists of four alert levels and matching requirements.

Water Alert Level 1
• Use sprinkler systems between 6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm
• Hand-held hosing can be used anytime

Water Alert Level 2
• Use sprinkler systems on alternate days between
• 6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm
• Hand-held hosing can be used anytime

Water Alert Level 3
• No use of sprinklers.
• Hand-held hosing only

Water Alert Level 4
• No use of outside water systems