Saving water urged

Simple water-saving practices are encouraged. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Simple water-saving practices are encouraged. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Warm, dry weather has both the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council encouraging water-saving practices.

The Dunedin City Council has implemented voluntary water restrictions for residents in Waikouaiti, Karitane, Port Chalmers, Sawyers Bay, Roseneath and Careys Bay.

DCC acting group manager Three Waters John McAndrew said voluntary water-saving efforts from the community reduced demand, and this was very much appreciated.

While water flows in the Waikouaiti River increased temporarily with the weekend’s rain, they were now dropping again, as was the level in the Port Chalmers reservoir.

‘‘We’re asking residents to take a few simple steps to help ensure our water networks remain in good shape."

Residents were asked to adopt simple water-saving practices, including minimal use of hand-held hoses for gardening.

"The rest of Dunedin’s water supply is also getting low, and mostly dry weather is forecast for the next month, so we are reminding all residents and businesses in the Dunedin area to work together to make sure we’re not using more water than necessary."

The Otago Regional Council also issued warnings to farmers and communities across Otago to consider water conservation as near-drought conditions persist in the South Island.

ORC science manager Tom Dyer said the use of water from streams and rivers in some areas around Otago was already facing a variety of water restrictions.

The weather outlook from Niwa predicted continued dry conditions, particularly impacting Central and North Otago, despite some expected occasional rainfall.

Rivers such as the Taieri and Manuherekia were at low levels, with irrigation users facing restrictions.

"Many of our rivers are bouncing in and out of low flow conditions this summer due to the variable weather conditions," Mr Dyer said.

On the Taieri, some water users who took from the river and its tributaries were faced with restrictions as river flows dropped, although irrigation company dam levels were still relatively high.

Both the DCC and the ORC were closely monitoring the situation and were prepared to introduce further measures if necessary to ensure sustainable water usage and support for affected communities and sectors.

Good water tips

Otago Regional Council tips for conserving water:

 - Check for leaks around stockwater and irrigation infrastructure

 - Irrigate at times when the water is more likely to be absorbed

 - Apply irrigation so that it is retained in the pasture or crop root zone

 - Minimise water use on gardens and lawns

 - Do not leave water running unnecessarily

 - Avoid washing vehicles and boats

If you are unsure if your irrigator is applying the right amount of water, catchment advisers can help you carry out a bucket test, email