30 January 2013
Residents urged to conserve water - level two restrictions in place
The Gore District Council is urging residents in Gore and Mataura to conserve water as temperatures continue to rise and water levels in the wells start to fall.
3 Waters Asset Manager Sarah Dowling said the Council this week imposed level two restrictions as a precautionary measure. With the forecast for temperatures in the late 20s and no rain, water consumption in Gore and Mataura is expected to significantly increase and put pressure on water sources.
Careful management of the water sources and residents being aware of their water consumption will go a long way to ensuring the urban areas get through this summer without any major disruptions to the water supply, she said.
Apart from the ban on sprinklers between 9am and 5pm, which is in place year round, this is the first time this summer that the Council has imposed water restrictions, Miss Dowling said.
Level two restrictions
Level two restrictions allow for hosing on alternative days, with even street numbers on even days and odd street numbers on odd days. Commercial users are also affected by the restrictions but not to the same extent as domestic users.
Parks and recreation manager Ian Soper acknowledged there may be a perception the Council is breaching its own restrictions by watering the town’s acclaimed public gardens during the day. However, this is invariably due to scheduled maintenance or new plots being planted.
There are exemptions for commercial users, such as the Council. These can also apply to domestic users in extraordinary circumstances, such as sowing a new lawn. For more information or to apply for an exemption, residents should contact the Council.
Sustained rainfall nedded
Miss Dowling said February was traditionally a dry month and it looks like that will be the case again this year. Even if there is some rainfall, it will take a sustained period of rain to replenish the aquifers that feed the Council's wells therefore restrictions are likely to stay in place for some time, she said.
Water is one of the Council's most precious commodities and it is aware of the need for a reliable supply to meet present and future ends. To that end, work is underway on a strategy to ensure long term supply for the urban areas, Miss Dowling said.
The Council draws water for Gore from Coopers Wells and Jacobstown, while in Mataura water is sourced from the Pluera Dam. The water restrictions are staggered from
- Level one - a public warning to conserve water,
- Level two - hosing on alternative days,
- Level three – total sprinkler ban, and
- Level four – total hosing ban.
Water Saving Tips
- Water the highest parts of the garden first then any run off will go to the lower dry areas.
- Dig a small trench around trees to help retain water.
- Watering in the early morning or evening reduces water lost to evaporation.
- Sweep paths and drive ways instead of washing them.
- Take shorter showers, every minute less saves seven litres of water.
- Turn off the tap when brushing teeth or shaving, a running tap wastes 10 litres per minute.
- Put the plug in the sink when preparing vegetables and save up to 10 litres per minute.
- Using a bucket to wash the car instead of the hose, saves up to 125 litres of water.