Councils warn residents over water

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 05:00 31/01/2013
Jayme Hope
TERRI RUSSELL/Fairfax NZ
TAPS OFF: Jayme Hope, 4, was upset to learn she could not water the garden or play under the sprinkler at Elsie St Kindergarten in Gore yesterday because of water bans.

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Southern residents are being reminded to be careful with water as temperatures in parts of the region continue to soar.

MetService has forecast temperatures to increase from the mid-to-high 20s in Gore and Queenstown in the lead-up to the weekend.

Meanwhile, Wanaka and Alexandra, which both tipped 30 degrees yesterday, are expected to maintain these levels over coming days.

Higher temperatures led to an increase in water consumption and put pressure on water supplies in the region.

Gore District Council is the first Southland council to impose water restrictions this summer to try and preserve falling water supplies. This week the council asked Gore and Mataura residents to water their gardens on alternate days and reminded residents of a year-round ban on daytime sprinkler usage.

Three Waters asset manager Sarah Dowling said the recent warm temperatures and lack of rain were expected to put pressure on valuable water sources.

It would take a lot of rain to replenish the aquifers that fed the council's wells, she said.

Invercargill City Council water manager Alister Murray said Invercargill had no water restrictions but this week's warm weather pushed usage to the highest it had been all summer.

"We have noticed water usage has markedly increased this week.

"We ask all residents to be mindful of their water usage," he said.

Southland District Council water manager Ian Evans said while they had no restrictions they would monitor the weather closely for the next few days.

Central Otago District Council water services manager Russell Bond said water consumption had definitely increased in the past two weeks but it was nothing compared with previous summers.

This was the first summer the council had introduced a new water charging system for residents, which helped keep usage down because a value was put on the resource.

Clutha District Council communications office Jamie Shaw said the council implemented its standard summer water restrictions before Christmas.

Residents were asked to limit hosing or using sprinklers on their gardens between 8am and 8pm, he said.

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