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Published 22/09/2023

Level 1 Water Restrictions beginning this weekend

All of metropolitan Wellington will enter Level 1 water restrictions this Sunday, joining Upper Hutt and South Wairarapa, who operate under Level 1 restrictions year-round.  

Level 1 restrictions mean sprinklers and irrigation systems can only be used from 6am-8am and 7pm-9pm every second day.

If you live in an even numbered house, you can use sprinklers or irrigation systems only on even numbered days between 6-8am and 7-9pm. If you live in an odd numbered house, the same rules apply for odd numbered days.

You can water your garden by hand at any time on any day, as long as it’s not left unattended.

The restrictions begin every year at the start of Daylight Savings, when warmer weather leads to increased outdoor water use.

Wellington Water monitors the water use in the region, on behalf of our council owners, and we provide councils with advice on whether or not tighter restrictions are needed as we move through the summer.

“Water use in the metropolitan Wellington region is at an all-time high. This is due to a combination of increasing leaks in the network, population growth, and relatively high use by consumers.” says Wellington Water’s Chief Advisor, Drinking Water Laurence Edwards.

“The region’s drinking water system has a finite capacity and we’ve come close in previous years to implementing tighter water restrictions which would have had a material impact on the public’s water use. We’ve only avoided this in the past due to significant rainfall in summer. But we can’t expect that to be the case this year.

 “In fact, this year our modelling shows that even with an average summer (no significant rainfall), the Wellington region faces a greater risk of a water shortage.

 “We’re doing all we can to optimise our activities within current funding and prepare for the possibility of a water shortage this summer. We are well underway on a project to increase the capacity of the Te Mārua Water Treatment Plant, and we are pivoting as much of our funding, team and resources into managing water loss and finding and fixing the biggest leaks.”

Everyone can play their part to conserve water.

“At Level 1, we’re asking people to take a moment to think before they water their gardens,” Laurence says.

“If everyone uses their sprinklers during the coolest parts of the day, and no more than every second day, it will really help. And it makes sense to water when it’s least likely to evaporate.

“Other little things can also help such as taking shorter showers (no more than 4 minutes), not running the tap while brushing your teeth, and only doing full loads of washing. Small changes like this can make a real difference.”

Editor notes

Wellington Water is owned and fully funded by Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council, and Upper Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and South Wairarapa District Council. All six councils are equal shareholders.

Our councils own the water infrastructure in the region, and they task us to manage the infrastructure and deliver water services to our communities.

Wellington Water is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board and our organisation receive overall leadership and direction from the Wellington Water Committee, which are also responsible for appointing members to the Board.

The Wellington Water Committee is made up of representatives from our council owners and mana whenua.

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