On Monday a water ban was re-introduced for the Midhirst, Stratford and Toko townships by Stratford District Council.

The ban had been in place earlier in summer, from February 4 to March 16, when it was replaced with water restrictions.

"However water flow in the Pātea River measures less than 556 litres per second for three days in a row, making a return the complete ban mandatory under our resource consent for taking water from the Pātea River," says Sven Hanne, Stratford District Council CEO.

The ban includes the use of sprinklers, irrigation systems and hoses and applies to all water supply users in the Stratford, Midhirst and Toko townships.

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■ Tips to conserve water:

Shorter showers save water.

Use a bucket to catch surplus water in the shower while you are waiting for it to heat up. When the water has cooled down, you can use it on the garden.

Wait until you have a full load before starting the washing machine.

Soak your washing in a bucket. When you have finished, water those parched plants.Turn your dishwasher on only when you have a full load.

Wash your fruit and veggies in a bowl, rather than running the tap, and then reuse the water.

Compost or worm farm your food scraps. Waste disposal units use 30 litres of water daily.

A good quality mulch on the garden retains moisture, stops those pesky weeds and adds goodness to the earth as it breaks down.

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Grow your lawn a little longer in summer.