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Much-needed rain and a dramatic drop in water consumption has delivered a reprieve of sorts to Dunedin residents facing enforced water restrictions by this weekend.
But the Dunedin City Council is urging residents to keep up the good work until the situation improves further.
The council on Monday warned it would have to introduce the first level of compulsory water restrictions by the weekend, unless residents were able to voluntarily reduce consumption in the meantime.
Yesterday, council 3 Waters group manager Tom Dyer said water consumption had been hovering at close to 60,000cu m a day for the four days before Monday’s announcement.
But by Wednesday, water consumption had dropped to 45,000cu m a day as the public heeded the conservation message, he said.
The conservation efforts, combined with a bit of rain and forecasts of more to come, "makes the numbers far more sustainable" although "still pretty tight" for now, he said.
As a result, council staff decided yesterday to delay any decision on enforced restrictions until Monday, while reiterating the need to continue conserving water, Mr Dyer said.
"If it stays dry ... we are still in a position where we need to be careful."