Saturday, December 4

Auckland’s water restrictions will be lifted on Saturday

Auckland locals may not be able to go anywhere right now, but the sprinklers are back and so is a long, hot shower, and the water restrictions will be lifted from Saturday.

Nihotupu Lower Dam before and after

A before and after of Auckland’s Lower Nihotupu Dam
Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

Stronger rules for water use were established in May last year, when dams in the region fell to low levels due to drought and continued dry weather.

Now, with the dams at 93 percent capacity, Auckland City Council has loosened the tap.

The water restrictions, which currently preclude the use of sprinklers but allow hoses equipped with trigger nozzles, have been in place since May last year, but with good rains last month: Dam levels have risen by more than 30 percent. cent since July.

Watercare board chair Margaret Devlin said the city is in a position to lift the restrictions.

“We are entering the summer period, and in a much stronger position than the last two summer periods, so you know, just to reiterate that dams are now 93.3 and up around 0.2 per one hundred per day. ” she said.

Upper Mangatawhiri Dam before and after

A before and after the Upper Mangatawhiri dam.
Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

Some Aucklanders, like Amaria Wade, were happy to have more water freedom.

“That’s great … We have a boat at home so it’s great to be able to wash the boat now and the kids can play in the water. It will be good for them,” he said.

However, some others are a little concerned that too much freedom will put the city to the test again, including Georgie Dabey.

“We saw the water levels go down last year, so I think the best thing to do right now is to be quite restrictive and cautious.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said that the dam levels were now above normal and that with the new water supply in place for the past 18 months, there was enough certainty that the restrictions will not return any time soon. .

“We can go in this summer and fall without the prospect of having to re-establish water use restrictions,” he said.

Goff said Auckland residents had saved more than 20 billion liters of water over the past 17 months, and restricting sprinklers alone couldn’t have done that. He encouraged people to consider water conservation.

“Our very clear message to everyone is to keep up the good habits that you have developed so as not to waste water. Why would you keep those good habits? Well, of course it’s good for the environment, but it’s also good for your back. pocket because you’re saving money by not wasting water. “

North Shore District Councilman Richard Hills said the council had worked with Watercare to reduce leaks and increase water use efficiency in new construction.

When some other water restrictions were lifted late last year, Auckland’s water use hadn’t changed much, sometimes staying well below conservation targets, and that showed that people are beginning to see water differently, realizing that it is precious, he said.

“Although this has been a terrible time both in Covid and in the water, I think it will lead us to a better future and to protect our water sources, but also to prepare for climate change, so there are few rays of light in it. it has been a difficult road. ” Hills said.

Goff said the council was working on a water strategy that would ultimately seek wastewater reuse.

“So that we are not dumping wastewater in our ports. Everything will be very well treated, but we are refining it to the point where it is pure and can be reused, and we will have that sustainability in that circular economy.” ,” he said.

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