13 January 2016
Water restrictions tightened
The Gore District Council has been forced to ban the use of unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems as high water usage puts a strain on Gore’s water supply.
The move to level 3 water restrictions is effective immediately. Residents can use handheld hoses but only between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on alternative days.
3 Waters Manager Sarah Crooks said the aquifer that feeds Cooper’s Wells was failing to keep up with demand, even though the Mataura River was still flowing at about 25 cumecs.
"One of the wells is so low the pump is regularly cutting out to ensure the motor doesn’t burn out."
The low well levels and high water usage has seen the East Gore reservoir struggle to refill most nights, Mrs Crooks said.
"We had been looking pretty good before Christmas but with this extend dry weather, water levels have dropped a lot quicker than expected."
She urged residents to think carefully about their water usage at home and at work.
"We have been seeing some huge water usage patterns in the morning and evening. People need to be aware of things like not using a sprinkler or unattended hoses to water the garden."
While commercial water users were not subject to level 3 water restrictions, Mrs Crooks said she would be contacting businesses urging them to conserve water.
The Council has advised staff not to wash any fleet vehicles until further notice. It was also monitoring water usage for the town’s gardens. At present the sprinklers are set for 2.00am. If the situation became any worse, it would look at other ways of watering the gardens.
To encourage people to be more water wise, the Council this week launched a competition on its Facebook page. People can upload photos of their water saving tips and go into a weekly draw for tickets to the Highlanders versus Crusaders pre-season rugby match, on 11 February in conjunction with Southern Field Days.