Water supply continues to dwindle

Last updated 13:43 21/02/2013

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Wellington's sunny spell could force residents to cut back on their water use as the region's water supplies continue to fall.

Greater Wellington regional council has said rivers supplying two thirds of the water for Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington were at low levels and were continuing to drop.

That was aggravated by infrequent rainfall over the last couple of months and only one of the water storage lakes at Te Marua being available due to earthquake strengthening work.

The work began on one of the lakes last summer and was now continuing with the second lake. Work is expected to be completed by December this year.

Councillor Nigel Wilson said the next few weeks were crucial for water supply levels. About 130ML of water was available each day from the region's rivers, but that could drop to 100ML within the next two weeks if there was not significant rainfall.

"What happens over the next couple of weeks – in terms of water use and how the weather forecast develops – is important," Mr Wilson said.

"We need extra care from the community over the next few weeks to keep water use to a minimum, so what we’ve got available goes further."

To keep water levels in check, residents were asked to conserve their water use.

“If the rivers can’t supply what’s needed, we’ll have to ask for a ban on garden sprinklers and irrigation systems.

"We’d also have to rely more heavily on the Hutt aquifer and look at activating a consent to take more water from the Hutt River at Kaitoke.”

Water saving tips:

- Use a flow control trigger on hoses

- Target watering close to the ground, at a rate the soil can absorb

- Put off non-essential outdoor jobs, like washing windows or the car, until autumn

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- The Dominion Post

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