Gisborne water crisis eases

KATIE KENNY
Last updated 11:47 13/01/2014

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The Gisborne water crisis is easing thanks to water-saving, and disruption to vital horticulture processing will be avoided, the district council says.

The city's water supply was damaged by a landslide last Monday, that knocked out the main water pipe from the Mangapoike Dam into the Gisborne District Council water treatment plant.

The council was forced to use supplies from the Te Arai bush catchment and the Waipaoa Water Treatment Plant, and Gisborne residents were asked to get they city's water consumption, usually 21,000 cubic metres of water a day, back to 14,000cum.

The council said Gisborne people achieved "fantastic water savings" during the weekend, keeping under the 14,000cum target.

It said industrial water use would increase over the next couple of weeks as the processing of horticultural produce ramped up.

"Processing industries are one of Gisborne biggest employers, bringing millions of dollars of revenue into the district," district council deputy chief executive Peter Higgs said in a statement.

"Any disruption to [industry] production capability would mean loss of income to employees.

"We have been working with the big water users since the crisis began last week to encourage them to implement their water-shortage contingency plans. They will continue to look for ways to conserve water use, just like other members of the community.

"We are now confident that they can carry on with their business without any disruption."

Meanwhile, repairing the pipeline was making "considerable" progress, but the council said the repair would take days as welds and repairs had to be repeatedly tested for leaks.

Water carriers would be permitted from today to cart water to those not on town supply and who were running short. Water carriers could now deliver water to rural, Wainui and Makaraka households, marae and schools.

A hose ban was still in place, and the council said water conservation would probably be required until the end of summer.

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- Fairfax Media

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