Tauranga City Council say they are actively following the same advice given to residents over water usage amid fears of a water shortage in the city.
This comes after one Tauranga resident was left disappointed by Tauranga City Council’s response to a water leak outside her home, despite pleas for residents to save on water.
After three consecutive dry summers, the streams that supply Tauranga with water are running low.
This led to the council’s introduction of a Water Watchers Plan in November last year, a year-round plan which replaced the more traditional outdoor watering restrictions.
The aim of the plan was to prevent the 30 per cent spike in outdoor water use seen over the summer period.
However, the most recent update on the council website still shows a high daily usage from residents of 234 litres per person, 46.2 per cent above target.
Freda, who lives in Tauranga South, notified council on Friday, January 14, of a water leak outside her home. It took four days until contractors came to fix the leak, at 3pm on Tuesday, January 18.
Freda feels council’s advice does not match their actions on fixing leaks and says the contractors informed her they were very busy on similar problems around Tauranga.The leak on Freda's road. Supplied photo.
“The water has been running down into our driveway for 60 or so hours now and it is not right for the council to ask us to save water when they are not fixing these leaks fast enough,” says Freda.
“If they want us to save water, surely these sort of leaks should be their number one priority.
“They can’t expect us to save all this water if they cannot do so themselves.”
SunLive approached the contractor involved for comment but has not yet received a response.
Council thanks Freda for alerting them of the water leak, saying residents are encouraged to do so. However, they point out that leaks are prioritised by severity, especially during busy times.
“We really appreciate people letting us know about water leaks out in the community as we can’t be everywhere, all the time,” says Tauranga City Council water services manager Peter Bahrs.
“All leaks are a priority and we do our best to attend to all of them as soon as we can.
“Sometimes we receive a higher than usual number of reports, which is fantastic, but it means our contractors have to prioritise them according to size and impact.”
Peter says that council is following the same principles as those being recommended to residents and outlines one way they are trying to reduce the impact of their water use.
“We’re following the Water Watchers Plan too,” he says.
“That means we’re actively reducing the city’s water supply to water reserves, sports fields and street trees, and where possible we’re using bore water to irrigate these areas instead of the city water supply.
“Signs are in place where bore water is in use.”
Council is continuing to urge residents to follow the Water Watchers Plan.
How to save water at home.
- Fix any leaking taps, pipes or cisterns. A leaky tap could drop up to 3 litres of water per day.
- Put a jug of water in your fridge for instant cold water.
- Make sure the dishwasher is full before you use it.
- Scrape dirty dishes rather than rinsing. Modern dishwashers can take it!
- Put the plug into the sink to wash dishes or scrub vegetables. Don’t leave the water running; taps use up to 6 litres of water per minute. You could save around 20 litres of water.
- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth. You could save up to 5 litres of water!
- Take shorter showers. A shower uses 10-12 litres of water per minute so cutting your shower by just one minute saves more than you expect.
- Collect water from your shower for watering your garden – this could be around 20 litres for your garden.
- Use the short toilet flush when you can, that uses about half the water of a full flush. The average flush uses between 6 and 32 litres of water, so using a half flush can help a lot.
- Install covers on pools and spas to reduce water evaporation.
- Use a bucket to wash your car rather than a hose – you could save up to 100 litres of water!
- Wash your car on the grass.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean paths.