Rising water demand sees Hamilton reach alert level 2


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29 January 2009

Rising demand for water and fine weather forecasts has seen Hamilton's water alert level raised to alert level 2 today. This change means sprinkler systems are now permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on alternate days only. There are no restrictions on commercial/non residential properties at this stage.

The decision was made to move to alert level two after the city consumed over 65 million litres of water per day for the past week. The city consumed 66 million litres last Thursday, 67.54 million litres last Friday, 66.64 million litres on Saturday and 66.47million litres on Sunday, before jumping to 72.22 million litres on Auckland Anniversary Day. On Tuesday consumption eased to 65.2 million litres, before peaking at 73.1 million litres yesterday.

Hamilton City Treatment Plants Manager Tim Harty said it is hoped the change in water alert level will reinforce to residents the importance of conserving water wherever possible.

"These water alert levels and their corresponding restrictions aim to guide water use in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer.

"While demand has been below that of the same time last year, the recent increase is cause for concern," said Mr Harty.

"Up until now sprinkler systems were permitted between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm each day. Now residents are only permitted to use sprinkler systems during these periods on alternate days – while it is only a small change at this stage, hopefully it will serve as a reminder that every small change in behaviour counts."

Alternate day sprinkling means residents whose street address number is an even number are permitted to use their sprinkler systems between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on days with even dates (i.e. 30 January, 2 February, etc). Those whose street address numbers are odd numbers can use their sprinkler systems during the outlined periods on days with odd dates (i.e. 31 January, 1 February, etc).

To ensure these restrictions are followed, a team of Water Sprinkler Monitors will be patrolling throughout the city. While residents seen to break the restrictions will receive an initial reminder, there is provision under the Water Supply Bylaw for Council to both prosecute and restrict the supply of water to households who continue to disregard water conservation measures.

If water consumption continues to climb it could see Hamilton reach alert level 3, resulting in a total ban on domestic sprinklers and restrictions on outdoor water use for commercial/non residential properties.

Hamilton's water alert levels came into effect on 1 December 2008, as part of 'Smart Water Use' – a regional collaborative effort between Hamilton City Council, Environment Waikato and other territorial authorities throughout the greater Waikato. The initiative aims to encourage residents to regard water as a 'limited and precious resource' and promote proactive water conservation.

More information on Smart Water Use, including the city's water consumption and alert levels, is available on www.hamilton.co.nz/smartwateruse


Name: Tim Harty
Designation: Treatment Plants Manager
Tel (Direct): 07 958 5873
Mobile: 021 451 104
Fax (Direct): 07 958 5871
Name: Kylee Bruce
Designation: Communication Advisor
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6726
Mobile: 021 816 917
Fax (Direct): 07 838 6761
Page reviewed: 29 Jan 2009 12:00am