Water conservation is critical this summer, say Councils
The Hastings District Council and Napier City Council have started a Know our Water campaign, aimed getting people to conserve water in what is predicted to be an extremely dry summer.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council manages the allocation of water in Hawke’s Bay. Chief executive Nic Peet says a regional council study released this year showed that current water use in Hawke’s Bay was unsustainable.
“Without changes there will be serious water shortages in the next 20 to 40 years.”
Conserving water is one of the multiple tools in the toolbox, along with more efficient horticulture and farming practices, and freshwater storage options, he says.
During the summer months, Hawke’s Bay has some of the highest rates of water use in the country, double that is used in winter.
Russell Bond, Napier City Council’s Executive Director Infrastructure, says managing water use is vital. “Caring about how we use water starts with building our knowledge of how precious it is, so we’re not taking it for granted. We are lucky in Hawke’s Bay to have our aquifers, and there are things each of us can do to manage the demand that’s put on them.”
The Know our Water campaign includes tips for individuals and households to help manage their use of water. Hastings District Council drinking water manager Matt Kersel says awareness needs to be followed by actions.
“Giving people simple things they can do means they can change immediately. Together all those little changes add up to a whole of community, region-wide, approach to saving water. We are asking everyone, wherever they are in the region, to do their bit for water conservation.”
Hawke’s Bay councils are doing their bit to manage their water use. Council water demand management initiatives include reducing watering of public gardens, watering at night when there is less load on the system, stopping grass watering except where it is required for health and safety reasons such as on sports fields, limiting splash pad operation to the times when they are most used, and replacing old style water irrigation systems on sports grounds with water-saving irrigation systems.
The Know Our Water campaign will run across print, social and radio throughout summer, adapted to reflect water restrictions.
Tips for saving water at home
check for leaks and fix any leaking taps, pipes and cisterns
use 'eco' settings on dishwashers and washing machines if available and don’t run them unless they are full
scrape dirty dishes rather than rinsing
turn off taps while brushing teeth
take shorter showers
limit toilet flushing: if it's yellow let it mellow
store drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap col
follow the water restrictions when in place
don't water the concrete, use a directional sprinkler
reuse 'grey water' from the washing machine on lawns and gardens where possible
use a bucket of water when washing the car rather than the hose
use a broom to clean paths rather than hosing
put off topping up swimming pools and use a cover to minimise evaporation
For more information go to hbrc.govt.nz, search #waterconservation
To read the Regional Council report, go to hbrc.govt.nz, search #watersecurity