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Water use down but restrictions continue for Auckland

Updated 7 July 2020

Published: 10 June 2020

Heavy rainfall over the weekend has done little to aid Auckland’s water crisis.

As of 6 July, water levels in Auckland’s nine water collection dams remain at a record low, sitting at 55.8 per cent.

The normal level for this time of year is 80.7 per cent.

Watercare's chief executive Raveen Jaduram says while Aucklanders have been doing a "fantastic job" at reducing their water use restrictions remain in place.

"We are still down on our normal dam levels so it's extremely important we continue to keep demand down."

Watercare, Auckland’s water supply and wastewater organisation, says over the past seven days Aucklanders are using less water (398 million litres a day) than the target range for July of 409 million litres a day or less.

“We need to stay at, or below this level, to stop declining water levels in dams,” Raveen said.

Auckland Council’s Emergency Committee introduced mandatory Stage 1 water restrictions on Saturday 16 May and Watercare has warned Stage 2 restrictions could be introduced if Auckland’s water storage levels continue to decline.

Significant breaches of the water restrictions could be prosecuted, with a potential fine of up to $20,000.

Breaches of the restrictions can be reported on the Watercare website.

Waitākere ward councillor Linda Cooper, the liaison councillor for Watercare, said enforcing the restrictions would take a graduated approach, with education as the first priority – escalating to prosecution if there were significant or repeated breaches.

“I’m confident that Aucklanders will understand how important it is to adhere to these restrictions and we are hoping that people will voluntarily restrict activities without the need for enforcement," she says.

Stage 1 restrictions prohibit the residential use of outdoor hoses and water-blasters.

Restrictions for commercial and non-residential water usage at Stage 1 include banning the use of outdoor hoses or water blasters unless it is for a health, safety, emergency or biosecurity reason; banning commercial car washes unless they use recycled water; and restricting the watering of sports fields, plants or paddocks to those which have an irrigation system fitted with soil moisture or rain sensors.

Restrictions at Stage 2 include all of those introduced at Stage 1, while also banning all watering of sports fields.

Watercare is asking residents to reduce water use by at least 20 litres a day (two buckets of water) – even when it is raining.

Further information is available at watercare.co.nz and waterwise tips are available at waterforlife.org.nz

Read more: Environment

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