Rain slakes district's giant thirst

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014
Pukekura Park fountain
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ
PIT STOP: New Plymouth’s Maria Christina, 9, took a drink-break at a Pukekura Park fountain. Others were grateful to see the precious resource falling from the sky.

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Grey and gloomy skies are bringing a smile to Mark Hall's face.

The rain falling from the dark clouds across Taranaki has helped the council's water boss see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If the droplets keeps coming then the district's water restrictions may be lifted next week, Hall, the manager of water and waste at the New Plymouth District Council, said yesterday.

Already the river levels were rising and the district's usage was dropping, he said.

"People aren't using as much water because there's rain and they don't have to water their gardens," he said.

While some are cursing the onset of wet weather, Hall has been measuring every precious drop.

Between Tuesday and late last night 57.5mm has fallen in Inglewood, 53.5mm in Stratford, 40.5mm in Hawera, and 32mm in New Plymouth, according to the Taranaki Regional Council.

And with rain forecast for at least the next five days, Hall is crossing his fingers.

"We don't always get what is forecast though, as everyone knows, so we still have to be careful."

Despite the looming rain Hall is still warning the community to conserve water.

"We are not out of the woods yet and I think we've got to bear in mind that water from taps has to be collected, treated, pumped and stored. It costs money and it's not an unlimited resource," he said.

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