Whangārei may soon be supplying drinking water to Kaipara and the Far North as Northland's big dry strengthens its grip.
Whangārei District Council chief executive Rob Forlong told councillors at a meeting in Whangārei yesterday the situation was dire in Kaipara and Far North.
WDC might soon need to help out others around the region facing worsening situations.
"There will some issues [in those areas] in the very near future," Forlong said.
Kaipara District Council has declared a level four water restriction meaning water can be used only for essential drinking, cooking and hygiene and all outdoor water use is banned.
Water restrictions are in place around the Far North. Tough level four water restrictions are also in place for Kaikohe. Northland Civil Defence and Emergency Management has helped Far North District Council install three large water tanks at the RSA to supply residents and businesses if the town's supply runs out.
Kaitaia is also facing major water problems. In the Far North Kaikohe was also on a level four water restriction. READ MORE:
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• Northland water crisis deepens, with restrictions tightened
Forlong said WDC was in a reasonable position with its water supply and would look to support its Northland neighbours.
"I am aware of getting a significant increase in the number of tanker loads of water coming out of our supplies for outside the district. It's our role to support our friends and neighbours into Kaipara and the Far North."
WDC councillor Simon Reid, whose Maungatapere-based trucking business includes water deliveries, said there was big demand for the service both within Whangārei and from outside the district.
"In the last three weeks we've had lots of calls from Mangawhai, Dargaville, Arapohue, Kaikohe and Kawakawa," Reid said.
It's taking up to 10 days to fill water orders. His business had now voluntarily stopped filling swimming pools. Water carriers from outside the district are coming to Whangarei to fill up with what's now liquid gold.
Reid said people were also putting 1000-litre tanks on the back of their ute and bringing it into town to fill up at work.
They were also filling the 1000-litre tanks using the drinking water supply available for campervans in Kioreroa Rd. This was not acceptable, he said.
WDC yesterday adopted a new hardline approach to watering in its parks and reserves. "Our parks and gardens will be put on starvation rations," Forlong said.
Sports fields would probably still need to be irrigated to be usable into winter, but there would come a point too where their irrigation would have to stop.
Forlong said the community in Whangarei and around Northland was doing its bit to conserve water.
It was important Whangarei District Council did so too.
He said the community might notice brown grassy areas and dead hanging plant baskets as a consequence of significantly cutting back on WDC watering in its parks and reserves.