Sprinkler ban likely for Wellington region

Last updated 15:35 26/02/2013

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A sprinkler and irrigation system ban is likely to be imposed on most of the Wellington region within the next few days.

The rivers that provide about two-thirds of the region’s water supply remain low and have dropped faster than expected over the past week.

The last significant rainfall was three weeks ago, on February 4, and the long-range forecast is for dry weather for the next fortnight.

Greater Wellington regional councillor Nigel Wilson said residents in Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley should start conserving water now.

‘‘If put into effect, a sprinkler ban should help keep demand low and assist with making sure we have enough water to last us through until the next spell of significant rainfall.’’

Water use this summer has been relatively low, but Mr Wilson said it was starting to rise.

The amount of water available in the region’s water supply rivers has now dropped below 100 million litres per day, compared to 130 million litres available just five days ago.

Water is normally held in the two Stuart Macaskill storage lakes at Te Marua to supplement low river flows, but only one of the lakes is available this summer because the other is being earthquake-strengthened.

Mr Wilson said the regional council will likely to have to start supplementing the water take from rivers with water from the one available Stuart Macaskill storage lake by Friday.

Taking more water from the Hutt River at Kaitoke was also an option, he said.

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- The Dominion Post

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