A sprinkler ban will be in force in Tauranga starting at 9am today.
The ban is being enforced following peak water usage combined with a hot, and mostly dry weather forecast.
The city’s current water demand is up by 40 per cent on normal average water use. Average usage during the year is around 41 million litres per day, last Monday demand hit 58 million litres per day.
That’s the highest use on record since water meters were installed.
This means Tauranga City Council is asking residents to stop using all sprinklers and irrigation systems until further notice.
Residents can continue to water their gardens, by hand-held hose, at the cooler times of day, between 5am and 8am, and from 7pm to 10pm.
City waters manager Stephen Burton says the hot and dry days have meant water usage started climbing as early as November last year.
‘With temperatures climbing recently we’ve seen a further jump in water use.
“The absence of rain in the foreseeable future means we now need to place a ban on the use of all sprinklers."
Stephen says restrictions are necessary when usage of drinking water is above the threshold of 50 million litres, for more than five days in a row with no significant rain in the foreseeable forecast.
“Our water treatment plants are under a lot of pressure during summer. There’s a limit to the amount of drinking water we are able to treat in a day and in the last fortnight we’ve been getting close to that limit.
“We delayed restrictions so far, in anticipation of predicted rain. As that has not materialised and next week is predicted to reach temperatures of up to 32 degrees, we now need to take action.
“We urge people to be mindful of how they use water. Small changes in and around the house can go a long way, especially when it comes to watering the garden.”
Sprinkler restrictions aim to reduce outdoor water use to avoid the need for more stringent measures. Should water use remain high, the next step would be a hose ban.
Tauranga City Council is investing $150 million in the development of the new Waiāri water treatment plant, that will provide relief for the city’s drinking water supply and meet the future needs of Tauranga.
For further information and tips on water conservation in and around the house, head to www.tauranga.govt.nz/savingwater.
To report water leaks or breaches to water restrictions, phone 07 577 7000.