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Conserve Water Now

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Thames-Coromandel people encouraged to use water smarter

Water restrictions are in place for two peninsula communities at the official start to summer.

A sprinkler and irrigation ban is in force at Matatoki and Matarangi but Thames-Coromandel District Council is encouraging all residents and visitors to conserve water.

TCDC Operations Manager Greg Hampton says last summer's drought was a strong reminder to the Waikato community that we cannot take the region's freshwater resources for granted with the influx of holidaymakers to the district meaning water sources will be stretched.

The council has teamed up with eight local authorities and regional council Environment Waikato (EW) to launch its Smart Water Use campaign, offering tips and advice to help people do the right thing.

Among the most recent initiatives was a smart water use in gardening workshop held for landscapers, garden centres and council staff and contractors to help them promote garden design and plants suited to coastal conditions.

Mr Hampton says TCDC is limited to the amount of water it can take from streams and bores every day and other factors such as the cost of storage and the treatment capacity of plants always makes supplying water a challenge at peak holiday periods.

"At the peak holiday times even heavy rainfall doesn't help because it stirs up the water source and our water treatment plants aren't able to process quickly enough to meet the high demand at that time of the year," he says. "There are many factors that limit the amount of water we can use and that includes resource consent limits by EW, the treatment capacity of plants and the cost of building storage for this short period of time.

"There are lots of simple things people can do at home that will make a big difference to their water consumption and their wallets," he said.

"For example fixing that dripping hot-water tap and you'll save yourself $50-$60 a year. Or reduce your daily shower from eight to four minutes and you'll shave at least $80 a year off your household power bill for every person showering - that means a household of four could save more than $300 a year.

"This is something particularly useful to bear in mind for those holidaying at beach baches this summer in areas where water resources are already stretched."

The Smart Water Use campaign includes an online calculator to help people estimate water use in their homes and a simple tool to help residents identify where they can install simple, inexpensive water-saving devices on taps, toilets and showers to save water, power and money.

There are plans to offer Smart Water Use in the Garden workshops at participating garden centres around the region from late January.

The Smart Water Use campaign will run through to autumn. For more information please visit www.smartwateruse.co.nz.

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