Water is an expensive commodity, even in the Queenstown Lakes
district which appears to have a plentiful supply.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council launched an awareness
campaign on Wednesday to encourage people to save precious
The campaign's project manager, Martin O'Malley, said as well
as the usual work on the district's water systems, the
council would be informing people about water in a variety of
ways such as advertising and speakers at monthly meetings.
Water reports to the council would be more frequent and, at
this point, the campaign would be ongoing for the next three
Mr O'Malley said it was ''not all about water meters'' but it
was an option for the council to guarantee a decrease in
''It's been proven all around the world.''
He equated metering water with paying for power and said some
people could be ''pleasantly surprised'' by what they would
pay under such a system. Metering was being considered as a
future water saving option, but all methods were being
''We need to get the facts as much as we can in terms of how
much it will cost per connection. There's no point having the
discussion if we don't have the facts.''
A main focus of the campaign is leak detection and remedy, as
47% of the water being pumped in Queenstown is lost through
leaks and almost one-third is lost throughout the district
across the eight water schemes.
''Some people may not be aware they have leaks on their
property,'' Mr O'Malley said.
The night time flow in particular areas was being monitored
to determine how much water was being used at times when
there should be very little, as the majority of people would
''If there is a heavy flow, that could indicate that there is
The peak water demand period is typically from mid-December
to the end of February.
In 2009, the council projected treated water could cost an
extra $100 million over the next 10 years, and committed
itself to reducing its use.
Mr O'Malley said the $100 million was ''a huge wake-up