We’re lucky in the Waimakariri District to have sufficient quantities of high quality water available for our community. However, it’s not about not having enough wai, it’s about making sure we’re conserving this irreplaceable resource.
Each summer we use up to four times as much water a day as a typical winter's day. Summer is when water is most scarce and when our water schemes have the highest demand on them. Much of our water use on hot sunny days goes to our lawns and gardens - let’s change the way we think about how we use water in summer.
Summer Water Use
If we aren’t careful about how we use water during this time it can lead to compulsory restrictions on water use. We want you to think about using water differently in the summer months from December to February.
Summer water is basically thinking and acting as though we’re in Level 1 water restrictions, but it’s voluntary. That means only using unattended hoses and sprinklers on your lawn or garden every second day and preferably between 7pm and 9pm. Your day is based on your house number: even houses water on even days, and odd houses on odd days. For example, a property with a street number of 21 can only water gardens and lawns when the date is an odd number, such as 1st, 3rd, 5th of the month etc.
Don’t worry you can still do other watering outside like washing your car, but try to do this on your assigned day, and avoid the evening peak watering period if possible (that's 4pm to 8pm).
Let’s avoid water restrictions by conserving our wai where we can.
Let’s Keep the WAI in Waimakariri
There are a number of other ways we can save water around the home. Check out our top tips!
In the house
- Keep a jug of cold water in the fridge so you don't have to run the tap for cold drinking water.
- Don't wash vegetables or rinse dishes under a running tap; put the plug in the sink or use a bowl of water.
- If washing dishes by hand, use the minimum amount of detergent to reduce rinsing.
- Aerated taps are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%.
- Use dishwashers for full loads only.
- In-sink waste disposal units waste a lot of water; use organic waste in the garden or compost it.
- Keep shower length to a minimum, ideally five minutes or less. Install a low flow shower head and save on water heating costs as well.
- If you want a long soak, a bath is more efficient, but only use as much water as required.
- Turn the water off whilst brushing your teeth, shaving or soaping your hands.
- Use washing machines for full loads only.
- Use water efficient appliances - all new appliances have a water efficiency labelling (WELS) rating on them.
In the garden
- Water either early in the morning or in the evening to avoid evaporation. Avoid watering on windy days.
- Water the ground, not the leaves and branches, and definitely not paved areas.
- Use a trigger device on the hose so that you can stop and start water flow instantly.
- Use water sparingly, especially on hot days when water is in highest demand.
- Use a broom instead of water to clean the yard or driveway.
- Use a bucket of soapy water to wash cars and bikes, then rinse quickly with a hose.
- Check outside pipes, taps and sprinklers and repair any leaks promptly.
- Report any leaks on the road or the footpath to the Council.
SMART stands for Sustainably Managed, Accountable, Responsible and Trusted water use. It is public awareness campaign supported by local and regional councils, industry partners and Irrigation NZ. It teaches farmers and urban people how to be efficient with water use. For other tips and information, check out the SMART Watering website.