Water watchers warn us to get used to brown lawns

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 07:51 04/03/2014

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The grass might be brown for a little longer in New Plymouth backyards.

Council manager of operations Graeme Pool said the water situation was better than this time last year but people still needed to be sparing in their use.

"It's still dry and there's no real rain in the forecast at the moment," Mr Pool said.

"We're keeping up with the water demand but every drop we take out of the environment and treat costs the ratepayers money."

New Plymouth District Council's water boss Mark Hall said there was treated water stored to act as a buffer for daily flows and for use in emergencies by the fire service.

Mr Hall said the cost of investing in big reservoirs to store water was not worth it when peak flow time was only a small part of the year. "And let's face it, grass grows back."

He said people could combat the brown lawn problem by having their own rainwater tank or using grey water from the washing machine for watering.

Water use across the New Plymouth District rose during the weekend with 72.817 million litres used on Saturday and Sunday, one million litres (1.4 per cent) up on the weekend before.

However, the average weekday use last week (37.601 million litres) was 10.5 per cent down on the weekday average for the week starting February 17.

Despite the light rain yesterday morning, there is no evidence of any change in water levels for the Mangatete Stream (Okato's water supply) which is running very low.

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THE NUMBERS Weekend breakdown by each water supply:

New Plymouth supply (which feeds New Plymouth, Omata, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi and Urenui): 66.094 million litres, up four per cent on last weekend's 63.662 million litres.

Inglewood: 4.043 million litres - down 4.5 per cent on last weekend's 4.234 million litres.

Oakura: 1.492 million litres, down 20 per cent on last weekend's 1.862 million litres.

Okato: 1.188 million litres, down 0.7 per cent on last weekend's 1.196 million litres.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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