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More savings needed as Picton and Waikawa heed call to reduce water use – MDC

Picton and Waikawa residents have heard the call to make every drop of water count but are being encouraged to do more, with demand still outstripping the town’s supply.

Every drop counts – that’s the message from Council to local residents and businesses who have been asked to urgently reduce their water consumption.

Council’s Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney says the community’s response to the call for water conservation has been positive with the demand deficit reducing by 50 per cent overnight Thursday.

“More water is still being used than Speeds Road can supply so that continues to deplete our main reservoir supplies at the Elevation and Victoria Domain. We are asking residents and businesses to keep up their water conservation efforts and do more if they can to reduce demand further,” he said.

Water recently stopped flowing over the Essons Valley dam due to low rainfall, high levels of evapotranspiration and high summer demand, so the township is now reliant on the Speeds Road supply and reservoirs at the Elevation and Victoria Domain. Adequate levels must be retained in the reservoirs to cater for power outages at Speeds Road and for firefighting purposes, Stephen said.

A total hosing ban is currently in place for Picton and Waikawa residents as well as no boat washing at launching ramps in the town, no car washing and limits on Council’s irrigation of local parks. Signage is in place at Port Marlborough’s marinas to reinforce this message to boaties.

“The message remains the same – make every drop count. Don’t use sprinklers or the garden hose, take a short shower, turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth, don’t wash your car, avoid topping up your spa or any other activity that will draw more water from the supply.”

The restrictions are:

  • A total hose and sprinkler ban
  • No washing of boats at the Picton and Waikawa boat ramps
  • No car washing
  • Limits on irrigation at Endeavour Park
  • Closure of the water fountain on the Picton Foreshore

“We will assess the situation again on Monday and thank everyone for their efforts to continue to save water. Every single action will help us avoid a loss of supply,” Stephen said.

The restrictions apply to all properties on the Picton and Waikawa supply until further notice.

For more information go to: www.marlborough.govt.nz/services/utilities/water-supplies/picton-water-supply/2024-pictonwaikawa-water-restrictions

Photo caption: Boat wash down ramps in Picton and Waikawa are only available for necessary motor flushing until further notice due to water restrictions


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