City water demand situation
For the last few weeks, water consumption has exceeded the maximum daily usage level of 22,500 cubic metres, which is the equivalent of 10 Olympic sized swimming pools each day.
It’s been a dry month and city water consumption is 33% above average for December, and more than 60% higher compared with the annual average water demand.
Water supply team leader Marcus Koll says Council has been struggling to cope with the high demand, just like Wellington and Hawke’s Bay.
“If it was not for the Waipaoa Water Treatment Plant running we would already be on water restrictions in the city.”
The Waipaoa plant has been supplying 40% of the total water to the city since early last week.
Thanks to that additional water, the city’s reservoirs have been coping with the demand, but it means Council haven’t been able to conserve storage in the Mangapoike dams as it normally would when the Waipaoa plant is operating.
Dam levels are around 6% lower than they usually are at this time of year.
“As levels in the Waipaoa River also drop, we stopped operating the Waipaoa plant from 20 December and will only use it again if the situation continues to decline, or when industry starts operating in February” says Marcus.
“It’s important the community conserves water now and heeds the outdoor water restrictions.”
Water use in the city has spiked above 27 million litres a day, on 2 occasions already this month.
This is extremely high when you consider the average household uses around 630 litres on a normal day, this amount averages nearly 3 times that at 2,100 litres per household.
“The amount of water being used can be directly attributed to extremely high outdoor water usage, which is not sustainable,” says Marcus.
Rain forecast in the next few days is not likely to amount to much, so this has prompted the level one restrictions.
A Level One alert means restricted use of sprinklers and automated irrigation systems for residents in the city. They can only be used between 6am-8am, with hand-held hosing kept to a minimum.
“A water alert for the city is earlier than normal, but it’s important the community is careful with water through the summer so we can avoid further restrictions.
“We encourage people to use water wisely at all times. Water conservation tips are available on our website.”
Water used by city per day compared with the average and maximum daily levels.
For information on where our water supply comes from
Water restriction alert level information Q&As