Water Conservation

Whilst the Waimakariri District is fortunate in having sufficient quantities of high quality water available for the community drinking water supplies, it is not an unlimited resource.

At present Council spends approximately $4 million a year operating the 16 water supply schemes to provide water to its communities. This amount is expected to increase over the next few years, so saving water becomes more important, as it will directly impact on the cost of supplying water, and therefore your water rates.

We need to reduce water usage during hot sunny days, as this is when water is most scarce and when the water schemes have their highest demand. Each summer we use up to four times as much water a day as a typical winter's day. Much of this goes on our lawns and gardens. Our water is precious - don't waste it. There are a number of ways you can save water around the home.

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 Watering

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.