Call to Water Wisely

The amount of water we use in summer is more than twice what we use during winter. This means we use the most water when there is the least available in the underground aquifers.

Sprinkler watering a garden at duskCouncil’s Water Asset Manager, Colin Roxburgh says that fortunately, the District’s water supplies are designed to cope with reasonable summer demands, however caution is advised to avoid the need for restrictions.

“Sometimes, at very dry times, our pumps struggle to keep up, or our reservoirs can get low. One of the reasons for this, is lots of people come home from work and water their garden. If everyone does this at the same time, the supply can struggle to cope and we have to put restrictions on.

We’ve seen the reservoirs in Cust and Oxford below half their normal levels already this summer, so it’s particularly important for these residents to use water wisely.”

There are some simple things people can do to avoid the need for restrictions and to help spread the water load.

“An obvious one is not watering your garden during peak times, which for the Waimakariri District is between 5pm and 9pm. Avoiding watering during this time frame will be a big help.”

Colin also says you’re better off giving the garden a good soak every three days, rather than watering it a little bit every day, and to keep water on the garden, not on the road or footpath.

“Hand-watering tricky areas with a hose saves over spray onto paved areas”, he says.

How you can help spread the load this summer:

  • Mulch is great. It’s good for the garden and helps to avoid evaporation.
  • Water either early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid evaporation and avoid watering on windy days
  • Position your sprinkler on a low setting so it waters 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.