Aucklanders have been given their first warning about the
impact of the city's driest summer in 50 years as other
regions continue to reel from drought.
Watercare is today running adverts warning that while
metropolitan Auckland's supply is "currently secure" and
shortages are "unlikely", things may change if the dry
weather continues through autumn.
"We're suggesting that people use water wisely now," a
The council-owned company, which manages the city's water
supply, has a raft of water-saving suggestions, including:
* Using a watering can rather than a hose
* Fixing leaks
* Taking shorter showers
* Only using washing machines when you've got enough for a
* Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth
The alert comes after the declaration of droughts in
Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay. Wairarapa,
Manawatu-Rangitikei, Taranaki and Gisborne have also asked
for help as the dry spell continues.
Farmers in the Wairarapa told Labour leader David Shearer
yesterday that production would double if winter water could
be captured and stored.
The capital is also feeling the impact, with Greater
Wellington Regional Council banning all outdoor water use
Residents have also been asked to try to save 30 litres of
water a day - the equivalent of three or four full toilet
Only 19 days of water are left in the city's reservoirs, and
authorities are looking to draw water from the Hutt River as
a last resort, the Wellington council said.
Auckland's use of the Waikato River has lessened its chances
of restriction, but the level has dropped and Waikato Council
is monitoring the situation daily.
Cyclone Sandra is expected to bring rain to most places this
weekend - the first decent fall since mid-January - with
showers to follow on Monday.
The rainfall is a step in the right direction but much more
is needed to pull the country out of the grip of widespread
In North Otago, all fire permits will be revoked and a
prohibited fire season imposed if it doesn't get any rain
from Cyclone Sandra.
A prohibited fire season would follow those imposed in
Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.