Save water, Council warns

12 December 2017
Waipa District Council

Waipa District Council is warning further water restrictions will be necessary if residents don’t start cutting back their water use.

Despite a move to water alert level one on 1 December, water consumption has increased by 14 per cent across the district as warm weather drives up demand. Water alert level one means only using a sprinkler between 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm. Hand-held hosing is still allowed at any time. 

Last week, Hamilton City Council moved to further restrict water use after demand in the city increased. Given the huge impact gardens have on water use, Hamilton residents can now only use sprinklers and watering systems on alternate days.

Water services manager Tony Hale said the Council's focus is on educating Waipa residents to be mindful of their water use through the sub-regional Smart Water campaign.  But if the message doesn't get through, water restrictions will need to tighten, he said. 

“During the first week of restrictions, we saw water use in Cambridge increase by 11 per cent and Te Awamutu by 7 per cent which is a real concern.

“Lack of rainfall in our catchment areas means the water level in the Maungauika Stream, which supplies Te Awamutu and Pirongia, is much lower than we would usually expect at this time of year. We need to adjust our usage accordingly.”

Waipa District Council already meets the national recommendations for water storage. Over recent years, the Council has invested in a new reservoir at Te Awamutu, but such large infrastructure comes with a huge price tag for the district. 

"Managing water demand is the most cost-effective thing we can do.  Te Awamutu's new water reservoir at Frontier Road holds six million litres of water. Yet last week, Te Awamutu alone went through 11 million litres in one day," he said.

“Like other years when demand is high it pushes our treatment plants to their capacity. We are currently upgrading Cambridge’s largest treatment plant but this won’t be in action for this summer so we still need to be vigilant with our water use.”   

Hale said his team is closely monitoring both water levels and weather forecasts and will make decisions about  further potential restrictions in coming days. ​

“Summer has only just begun so we need everyone to be sensible with how they use water.  There is enough water to go around as long as people aren't wasteful and are mindful that how much they use has a direct impact on what's available to everyone else." 

Smart Water has an e-newsletter to let you know when your alert level changes plus a week-by-week water use graph and other water-saving tips. Sign up at​
For more information, contact: Simone van Asbeck, 027 564 7622

About the Water Alert level system:

Water Alert Level 1 
Use sprinkler systems between 6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm. 
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime.
Water Alert Level 2 
Use sprinkler systems on alternate days between
6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm. 
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime.
Water Alert Level 3 
No use of sprinklers. 
Hand-held hosing only.
Water Alert Level 4
No use of outside water systems.