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Sprinklers can only be used between 6 and 8

24 Jan 2013

Sprinklers can only be used between 6 and 8

Gisborne District Council is enforcing a sprinkler ban for residential properties as dam levels continue to drop. Sprinklers can still be used between 6-8am in the morning and 6-8pm in the evening.

Water Team Leader Marcus Koll says domestic sprinkler restrictions are the first step in a four step plan to manage water consumption in dry conditions. Water restrictions will be reviewed on a weekly basis from now on.

The Mangapoike dams are currently 65% full. The current levels are trending below a 50 year drought curve. This curve represents what is likely to happen in a one in 50 year drought event. Currently dam levels are at their lowest since 1998/99 for this time of the year.

Commercial water usage from primary food processing industries in particular is expected to be high over the next two months. However the low dam levels this year are a result of unusually high usage levels in November and December. Since then water usage is normal but dam levels have not had a chance to recuperate. Sustained rain fall would make a difference. However, NIWA’s three month climate update suggests a 50% chance of below normal rainfall, a 30% chance of normal rainfall and only a 20% chance of above average rainfall.

“Council plans to operate the Waipaoa Treatment Plant in early February when peak water demand is expected to be highest”, Mr Koll says. “This will help preserve the Mangapoike dam water levels.”

“The Waipaoa operation comes at a considerable additional operational cost. A more complex treatment process is needed due to the much poorer water quality of the Waipaoa River source compared to the Mangapoike source and the extra pumping that is required. Any water reductions that business and residents can make will help to minimise these additional costs.”

“If the dam levels still continue to drop at their current rate and consumption is not reduced, water restrictions will need to be tightened,” Mr Koll says.

Water restrictions are part of normal operations for many Councils around the country at this time of year. Other councils including Hamilton, Hastings, Hutt City, Kapiti Coast and others currently have or recently had similar water restrictions in place.

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