Water restrictions in Tauranga have been lifted with immediate effect.
With rain across the city during the last few days, and more predicted, restrictions are no longer needed to manage water demand, says Tauranga City Council city waters manager Steve Burton.
A sprinkler ban and a ban on hosing of concrete or paved surfaces was put in place in mid-December following the early onset of hot, dry weather.
Steve says households can now return to normal water use.
“Before we introduced water restrictions, we were reaching daily water use peaks of around 56 million litres, up by around 10 million litres on the same time the previous year,” he says.
“Thanks to the response from our community, we’re now tracking at below 45 million litres a day on average, which has made a big difference to our ability to get through dry periods.”
Steve says Tauranga City Council and its contractors also played their part in saving water.
“There’s no doubt that Council played a key role in the conservation effort.
“Our Parks and Recreation team has done fantastic work in keeping consumption down, yet still maintaining facilities that are suitable for hosting international sporting and other events.
“Our maintenance contractor is continuing to respond as quickly as possible to reported leaks. Many contractors have also successfully used bore supplies to carry out dust suppression on their earthworks over the hot summer period.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from everyone.”
Steve urges people to continue to watch their water use.
“This is a good position to be in, but it’s important that people keep being responsible with their water usage.
“Sprinklers are actually a relatively wasteful way to water plants.
“It’s much more effective to restrict watering to the cooler hours of the day so the moisture doesn’t evaporate, and keep soil moist by using mulch.”
Steve says planning for the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is underway, to help meet the future water supply needs of Tauranga and the wider Western Bay of Plenty.
Construction is scheduled to start in March and is expected to be completed in 2021.
“In the meantime, we’re probably going to be under extra pressure over the next few summers.
“Even once the Waiāri has boosted our treatment capacity, we still need to view water as a limited resource and manage it efficiently.”
For more information, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/waiari