Water OK in Coromandel, for now

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 03/01/2013

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Coromandel residents are managing their water consumption during the festive season but a dry start to the year could see the peninsula's taps down to a trickle.

Water delivery driver Doug Morrison said the weather has played its part in quenching the thirst of holidaymakers but he expected things to change as summer continues.

"I have not been busy at all because I think there has been enough rain to keep people happy and people have arrived with big full tanks so it will be some time before they run out."

Mr Morrison carries certified drinkable water to rural areas to supplement homes that capture rain and groundwater.

He said the population of Coromandel had increased but the water supplies had held firm because property owners had planned for summer.

"In the buildup to Christmas people were getting their tanks topped up as a precaution," he said. "There are people all over the place. There is plenty happening . . . but in my business it hasn't quite taken off."

A sprinkler ban is in place from Matatoki to Hikutaia and with forecasters predicting a dry start to the year Mr Morrison said locals would have to pay attention to their water consumption.

"If it is a normal summer then people will start running out, but if it was like last year then there was enough rain to keep people going through."

As holidaymakers return to their homes in the Waikato, councils are expecting the surge in water consumption to put pressure on the region's water supply.

The dry summer in 2008 saw a ban on domestic garden sprinklers in Hamilton to reduce the city's water consumption.

Hamilton, Waikato and Waipa councils are all on water alert level one now, and sprinkler use is only permitted from 6am till 8am and 6pm till 8pm.

Hamilton City Council data shows the average daily consumption of water during the Christmas-New Year period is less than 50 million litres a day, but rose to more than 60 million litres in January, with some days more than 80 million litres.

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- Waikato Times

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