High visitor numbers and hot temperatures have meant water use in the Taupō District has doubled in the last three weeks, with some of the district's water treatment plants close to capacity.
The district moved to level one water restrictions on December 13 in anticipation of high demand over summer and since then water use has doubled from just under 20,000 cubic metres per day on December 17 to more than 40,000 cubic metres of water per day on January 6.
Council asset manager water Tom Swindells says he is pleased with the water-saving efforts being made by residents so far. However, the exceptionally hot temperatures and huge influx of visitors had meant a massive increase in water demand and some water treatment plants, particularly Kinloch and Whakamaru, are almost at capacity or nearing their resource consent levels.
"Regardless of the lake level, our water treatment plants can only treat a certain amount of water per day," he says.
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"With this warm and dry weather continuing, we ask everyone to continue with the level one water restrictions and conserve water where possible."
Level one water restrictions mean that sprinklers and fixed irrigation may be used on alternate days only, depending on your street address. So if your address ends in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 you can use sprinklers on even calendar days; if your address ends in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 you can use them on odd calendar days.
Swindells says conserving water means avoiding having to move to level two water restrictions, which ban sprinkler and fixed irrigation use altogether.
Water treatment capacity at Kinloch will be significantly boosted to 5000 cubic metres of water daily when the new water treatment plant for the area is built. Design work has been completed and construction is expected to start later this year.
Head to www.taupodc.govt.nz/transport-and-water/water-conservation for water conservation tips.