El Nino may put water tanks at risk

Last Updated : 29 Jan 2020
Water tanks (1)

Auckland Council is urging householders with rainwater tanks to conserve water for the dry summer, despite a wet start to the year.

“The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) advises we are in the middle of an El Nino weather cycle, with a high (45 per cent) chance that January to March 2016 rainfall will be below normal for the north of the North Island,” says Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director, John Dragicevich.

“It’s therefore important for residents with rainwater tanks not to get complacent just because the rain has been plentiful so far,” he says.

“Check your water tank frequently to ensure you can bring in water before your tank runs dry.”

Homes at greatest risk include holiday homes with visitors who tend to be less aware of the need to conserve water, and permanent residents who may think the wetter New Year means they will have plenty of water to last for the rest of summer.

“Residents in homes that have run out of water often resort to council facilities for their ablutions and cleaning, putting additional stress on these facilities,” says John Dragicevich.

Areas that have rain tanks include the Hauraki Gulf islands, in particular Waiheke, Great Barrier and Kawau, and rural areas on the edges of the city, such as Rodney and Franklin.

Top tips for conserving tank water

  1. Take shorter showers.
  2. Turn off taps while cleaning teeth.
  3. Wash complete loads of dishes or clothing, not partial loads.
  4. Run a shallow sink of water for dishes.
  5. Flush the toilet only when necessary.
  6. Install water-conservation devices on your taps, showers and toilets.
  7. Check water connections for leaks and drips.
  8. Don’t use tank water to irrigate gardens.
  9. Wash cars and boats less often.
  10. Check tank water levels regularly.
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