In times of extremely high water use, when demand exceeds the rate at which we can fill reservoirs, we may introduce water restrictions. Keeping reservoirs full helps maintain water pressure, which is especially important for firefighting.
There are different levels of restrictions that can be introduced under the provisions of the Water Services Bylaw 2019.
Water Restrictions Guide
|Restriction Level||Water conservation method|
|Stage 1||Summer Mode – Outdoor watering is not allowed during the day, so you can only water your garden between 8 at night and 8 in the morning.|
Watering systems may be used during these times; but please don’t leave them unattended.
|Stage 2||Moderate Water Restrictions – People can only use a handheld hose for watering gardens, between 8pm to 8am only. Hoses cannot be left on overnight or unattended. Sprinkler & irrigation system use is banned. Commercial operators that require water can contact Council for approval.|
|Stage 3||High Level Water Restrictions – There is a hosing ban, with the exception that people can use a handheld hose for watering gardens one day a week, between 8pm to 8amonly. Sprinkler & irrigation system use is banned. People are asked to avoid washing cars and boats etc. Commercial operators that require water can contact Council for approval.|
|Stage 4||Extreme Water Restrictions – Complete hosing, sprinkler & irrigation system ban, no washing of boats, cars or using hoses at all. Minimise indoor water usage.|
Stage 1 restrictions are always implemented each year on December 1 to try and avoid more stringent restrictions as summer progresses. If more stringent restrictions are not implemented, the Stage 1 restriction remains in place till the end of March, and then we review whether they can be lifted or extended.
If we all save water early in the season, we may not need to implement Stage 2 or 3 restrictions.
The water alerts section on our website provides updates on water restrictions, when they are in place and which area in Clutha is affected.
We also ask that everyone report any water leaks in Council pipes and fittings to your nearest Council office, or call 0800 801 350 as this also helps Council to avoid further water restrictions.
Get the latest information
If there’s important information about anything water related, from burst pipes to planned water works, you can get this directly from the Council by:
- Downloading the Antenno app from the App Store or Google Play
- Subscribing for text and email alerts updates.
If you don’t have a cell phone ask a close family member, friend or neighbor to join on your behalf and they can keep you updated.
- Following the Clutha District Council’s Facebook page
- Listen to the radio stations Hokonui or More FM Clutha
- If you think it’s getting dry check Council’s website for updates:
- www.cluthadc.govt.nz OR give us a call on 0800 801 350 OR pop into your local community library and talk to our friendly team.
It can be hard to provide water restriction updates via newspapers as printing deadlines mean the information is often out of date by the time it reaches you. If you hear about a boil water notice please help us by spreading the word to friends and family especially if you know they're not online.
Water conservation advice
Our community relies on water from our rivers. When it’s dry for a long time, the water supply network comes under stress. Streams and creeks dry up, groundwater levels fall, pipeline breakages increase, and back-up pumping systems and treatment plants work much harder.
At the same time, water demand increases.
While some of the district's water schemes have plentiful sources, restrictions were required during times of high demand because the treatment plants and pipe capacity of schemes restrict the amount of water that can be delivered to consumers.
Exemptions may be granted by Council on a case-by-case basis to commercial properties and for irrigation depending on the level of restrictions in place, the extent of the dry period, and the time of the year.
If we haven’t had a lot of rain over the summer months, here are some ideas to reduce your water use in your home or garden.
- Don’t leave taps running when you’re cleaning your teeth or shaving.
- Showers are better than baths (but don’t stand in the shower longer than you need to). You can also turn the shower off while you are shampooing your hair. While you are waiting for the shower to run hot get a bucket and collect the cold water. This water can then be used for rinsing dishes or watering plants.
- Recycle all old water from pet bowls, kettles to water plants.
- When peeling vegetables or washing dishes don’t leave the water running.
- In the laundry make sure you do full loads of washing, rather than many small loads. Or select the correct water level setting on your washing machine to match the size of your load.
- Make sure your dishwasher is full before you run. Also, don’t rinse your dishes first: scrape them and let the dishwasher do the cleaning.
- Keep an eye on dripping taps and check for leaks.
- Don’t use running water to defrost your food. Allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator or use your microwave to defrost food straight from the freezer.
- Check all taps are turned off properly. You can also put the plug in the sink while you are washing your hands.
- Keep a water jug or bottle in your fridge instead of running the tap cold to get a cool drink of water.
- Use a pressure cooker, microwave or steamer to save water. Simmer rather than boil your food and use tight lids to prevent evaporation.
- Water used to cook boiled food can be re-used in soups or casseroles – or let it cool down and use it to water your garden.
- Your plants will appreciate food scraps added to the compost heap. A lot of water is wasted running a waste disposal unit.
- Talk to your plumber about lowering your water pressure. The higher your water pressure, the more water you will waste.
- Don’t use the toilet to flush items such as tissues or anything else that could go in the rubbish bin.
- Check your toilet for leaks. Ask a plumber to fix corroding or bent fixtures or invest in a new, more efficient toilet.
- To reduce the amount of water per flush put a small plastic bottle filled with water in the cistern, making sure it does not interfere with the flush mechanism. Do not use a brick as it may damage the cistern or the plumbing.
- Postpone washing your car or boat and if you must wash your car, use a bucket rather than running the hose and only use the hose for a quick spray to finish. If you do it on the lawn and it gets watered as well.
- Sweep your paths and driveway rather than hosing.
- Use compost on your garden to trap moisture. Compost also provides essential nutrients – and prevents weeds from growing.
- Don’t water on windy days: much of the water will evaporate and/or go where you don’t need it.
- Collect rain water to water your garden.
- Use recycled water (also known as grey water) that you have collected in your home to water your garden.
- Don’t cut the lawns too short. Adjust your lawn mower to cut at 40-50mm. Taller grass holds soil moisture better. Also leave lawn clippings on your grass to mulch around plants to retain moisture. This also helps keep the weeds at bay.
- Use a broom to sweep paths rather than a hose.
- Plant drought-resistant species in your garden. Native plants require less water than exotic plants.
- Water your garden late in the evening or early in the morning. You will use less water and there is less risk of harming your plants.
- Check the weather forecast before you water your garden: Mother Nature might take care of your garden watering needs.
- Use a trigger hose to water the garden, not a sprinkler, to control where and how much water is used. Also, aim for the roots, not the leaves.
Planning for the future
- Choose plants that don’t need too much water.
- Choose appliances with a good water rating – check the label. Front-loading washing machines and dual-flush toilets are more efficient.
- Consider installing aerated tap mixers and a water-saving showerhead.
This will have a have a positive effect on our rivers and water resources.