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Published 13/02/2020

Sprinklers banned in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua from 14 February

A ban on the use of residential sprinklers and irrigation systems will take effect in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua from tomorrow, Friday 14 February.

On Monday, Wellington Water indicated that a prolonged dry spell was seeing water use soar, and as a result of this increased demand, further restrictions may be needed.

Demand reached the highest level so far this year on Wednesday, peaking at 192 million litres per day (MLD), and with more warm weather on the way this level of demand is unsustainable.

“We can sustainably supply the region at a level of around 170 million litres a day,” said Laurence Edwards, Wellington Water’s Chief Advisor for drinking water. “Over the past week we’ve been consistently around the 180 MLD mark.

“That’s just too high. We need people to get into the habit now of being careful about their water use, so there’s enough for all of us to enjoy all summer.”

“We have two storage lakes to supplement our river and aquifer supplies,” said Mr Edwards. These are 88% full at the moment, but we are drawing on them more and more as river levels recede.”

“There is still the rest of summer to go, with plenty of warm weather ahead. There is enough water for everyone this summer, if we all do our bit. This includes following garden watering restrictions, and water saving tips like using buckets to wash the car, or a broom to sweep the path, rather than the hose.”

What the ban means:

  • All unattended residential watering systems are banned.
  • Careful watering by hand is still permitted – this includes hoses.
  • Councils, golf courses and bowling greens are asked to manage their watering programmes carefully.

Tips to save water:

  • Use mulch to keep soil moist.
  • Only water your garden when absolutely necessary – check soil moisture levels 10cm below the surface.
  • Collect water from your shower for watering your garden.
  • Let your lawn die off, it will come back.

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