Residents urged to start planning water-saving habits as Summer approaches
7 October 2020
With the prospect of another hot and dry summer on the horizon, the Tauranga City Council are urging the public to be conscious of their water use and adopt water conservation habits early.
This year Tauranga is facing a new water supply constraint of lower water flow levels in the rivers that supply the city with drinking water. Low flow levels combined with increased water use due to hotter weather will have an immediate impact on the municipal water supply. Tauranga’s rainfall this year is down more than 30% compared with the average annual rainfall.
“As regions around New Zealand are experiencing the effects of drought, the prospect of a long, hot summer is driving the need for councils to plan for managing drinking water supply over the dry season,” says City Water Manager Stephen Burton.
Steady growth in Tauranga has seen daily water consumption grow in step, and the current average daily use is close to what used to be the threshold to consider water conservation measures. (43.7 million litres and 45 million litres a day respectively.)
“We encourage residents to see every day as a water conservation day.”
The council is urging people to rethink their use of drinking water for activities such as washing the house and hosing hard surfaces and consider the timing of putting in new lawns and gardens. It’s also important to plan ahead and prepare gardens for a drier period.
- Mulching your garden to keep moisture in.
- Soaking your garden every few days rather than a quick drink every night. Light watering lets water evaporate quickly and makes plant roots grow shallow. Soaking the ground every few days encourages the roots to go deeper into the soil where moisture is held longer.
- Water during the cooler hours of the day (early morning or late evening) to reduce evaporation.
- Planting plants that are suitable for our local climate and don’t need as much water.
“Our weather is changing, and our habits need to change with it,” said Mr Burton. “Water is a precious and finite resource and it’s important we start thinking about how we can manage to get through summer without increasing our water use.”