Councils urge residents to cut down on non-essential water use


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21 December 2017

Hamilton City Council is asking residents to cut back on non-essential water use to reduce the need for additional water restrictions.

Currently Hamilton is on Water Alert 2, which means sprinklers and watering systems can only be used on alternate days between 6 and 8am and 6 and 8pm. Earlier this week Waipa District Council moved to Water Alert 3 after water use increased and water availability decreased, due to lack of rain, in the region. Waikato District Council is currently at Water Alert 1.

Hamilton City Council Waters Compliance Manager Trent Fowles said the Council’s focus is on educating and assisting Hamilton residents to be mindful of their water use.

“We need people to stick to our current sprinkler restrictions, and to generally be smart about their non-essential water use, especially outside.

“Hamilton’s levels of water use are close to triggering further restrictions. We are currently using significant amounts of water every day in Hamilton, at a much higher level than what we’ve seen at this time of year in the past. If this level of use increases, or continues for too long, Hamilton will need to consider moving to Water Alert 3, which means hand-held hosing only.”  

“Small changes to outdoor water use can make a big difference overall. If your sprinkler is on a timer, reduce its running time, or if you don’t have a timer, set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to turn it off sooner,” says Mr Fowles.

Waipa District Council’s Water Services Manager Tony Hale echoes these warnings.

“In Waipa we are facing a serious shortage of water due to an increase in demand from residents, but also with the lack of rain affecting our supply.

“If people don’t cut back on non-essential water use for their gardens and swimming pools there is less available for essential services such as water for drinking, showers and toilets."

The ‘Smart Water Starts with You!’ sub-regional summer campaign, a joint venture between the Waikato District, Hamilton City and Waipa District councils, aims to bring about long-term change in how we use water. For more information on this effort, and more tips on saving water, visit

About the Water Alert Level system:
The Water Alert Levels and their corresponding requirements are a way to use water in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer. The Water Alert Level system consists of four alert levels and matching requirements. The restrictions for Water Alert Level 1 and 2 do not apply to commercial/non-residential properties.

Water Alert Level 1
Use sprinkler systems between 6am and 8am, and 6pm and 8pm.

Hand-held hosing can be used anytime.

Water Alert Level 2
Use sprinkler systems on alternate days between 6am and 8am, and 6pm and 8pm.

Hand-held hosing can be used anytime.

Water Alert Level 3
No use of sprinklers.

Hand-held hosing only.

Water Alert Level 4
No use of outside water systems.

Page reviewed: 21 Dec 2017 12:15pm