Fine weather brings tighter water restrictions

Last updated 07:51 26/02/2013

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A total ban on domestic sprinklers will be enforced in Hamilton from tomorrow as council officials grapple with rising water use and ongoing fine weather.

Hamilton City Council city waters manager Tim Harty said the alert level was reviewed every day, but due to high usage in the past week (around 75 million litres a day), both Hamilton City and Waikato District council areas' water restrictions would rise to alert level 3.

This means a total ban on domestic sprinklers, with only hand-held hosing permitted. There will also be a restriction on outdoor water use for commercial/non-residential properties.

Mr Harty said although any reduction in usage would be good, the council hoped to get water usage to around 60 million litres per day.

"You only have to look out the window and look at the hills surrounding us to see how dry it is, and we just need to be really mindful of that," he said. "We need to remember that it's a precious resource and it's something that we need to manage and be aware of, and that's what we're asking the community to do."

Mr Harty was unsure how long the restrictions would stay in place, but the council would monitor water usage on a day-to-day basis.

He said there had been some positive reaction from big non-residential water users such as Waikato Hospital and Waikato University, which were all too happy to do their part in tightening water use.

If worst comes to worst, the final alert level, 4, would mean a total ban on all external non-essential water use and a restriction on all external water use for commercial/non-residential properties.

Weatherwise, there's no respite from the big dry in sight. MetService has forecast sun and no rain for at least the next 10 days as one large high pressure system lines up to replace the last. Temperatures are expected to be in the high 20s.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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