While many are rejoicing summer's eventual arrival in the
Wakatipu, with cloudless days for almost two weeks, the
rising mercury means water restrictions are in place for
those on the Lake Hayes Scheme.
Queenstown Lakes District Council 3 waters operations
engineer Martin Ellis said a "sudden increase" in water
demand on the Lake Hayes Scheme water supply had resulted in
the council asking residents to conserve water.
Mr Ellis said the council on Tuesday received notice the
reservoir was near "low levels".
Use peaked overnight on Monday, with the reservoir losing
water at a rate of 10% per hour between dusk and 3am,
suggesting irrigation as the main cause.
It was restored to 85% on Tuesday morning, but Mr Ellis said
the council had to retain 30% of the capacity in the
reservoir at all times for firefighting.
The council would have no option but to impose a water ban on
the supply if levels continued dropping towards the minimum
required firefighting capacity.
"We would ask that people restrict irrigating to hand-held
watering and water between the hours of 7pm and 7am, but not
leave taps running overnight," he said.
Irrigation via a single standard hose connection (12mm hose)
to a portable sprinkler or equivalent domestic fixed
irrigation system (single-hose capacity) was fine for short
periods, but using a commercial K-line system or any other
high-capacity sprinkler would put too much of a drain on the
"Once again, the council intends to continue to work with
high-end users to ensure this does not impose an unreasonable
burden on all other Lake Hayes users, particularly at this
time of year."
A letter outlining the situation was sent to residents
- Residents can still water gardens using hand-held hoses and
domestic sprinklers for periods of no more than an
- Residents asked to water after 7pm or before 7am and to
avoid "excessive watering", i.e. pooling or running into the
gutter or footpaths.
- Residents asked to conserve water in homes by reducing
shower time, recycling "grey water" (washing water etc) for
watering plants, using a bucket when washing vehicles,
optimising clothes washer and dishwasher use, avoiding
leaving taps running.