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Published 20/05/2024

Wellingtonians collectively save over 400 million litres of water this summer

The combined effort of the residents of Wellington City, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt saved over a staggering 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water over summer, preventing tighter water restrictions across the region.

At the beginning of summer, Wellington Water warned the region that there was a risk that tighter water restrictions would be needed to prevent an acute water shortage.

“We want to say a huge thank you to people across the region. We put the call out to people to prepare, and to do what they could to conserve water – and they answered. Our team have run the numbers, and we saw a reduction in demand of between five and nine million litres per day,” says Wellington Water Chief Executive Tonia Haskell.

Tonia added that local councils had been instrumental in reiterating the key messages through their channels, ensuring that the public were well informed.

Head of Regulatory Services Charles Barker, whose team has been closely monitoring the situation, echoed Tonia's sentiments, thanking the public for their understanding and commitment.

“We have water restrictions every year, but the risk this summer was different – and we haven’t seen a response like this in over a decade. We closely monitored the situation and knew that people’s efforts to reduce their water use was holding us steady at Level 2. Not only did their efforts prevent a shift to tighter restriction levels, our data shows the increase in demand between winter and summer was the lowest on record. This is incredible,” says Charles.

Wellington Water will continue to work closely with council owners and Taumata Arowai to reduce the risk of tighter water restrictions in future summers. This includes ongoing work to drive down water loss through a balance of leak repairs and pipe renewals across the network and increasing the resilience of the region’s water supply.

With longer, dryer summers anticipated in the future, conserving water will continue to be an integral part of water management.

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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