With Labour Weekend presenting an opportunity for some spring cleaning or a garden spruce-up, Watercare is reminding Aucklanders to be mindful of their water use.
Watercare head of water value Andrew Mercer says the 2019/2020 drought was a stark reminder to Aucklanders that water is a precious resource that needs to be treated as such.
“Auckland’s average water use is lower now than it was before the drought – despite the population growth that would have occurred – so it’s really encouraging to see that people have hung on to those great habits we all adopted when we needed to.
“However, it’s important to remember the way we use water changes significantly in the warmer months, as people spend more time enjoying the outdoors or doing maintenance around their homes.
“Labour Weekend almost signals the onset of summer, and if the sun does come out, I’m sure plenty of people will be out in the garden, washing down their houses or pulling out the paddling pools.
“There’s nothing wrong with that – we just encourage people to be mindful of their water use.
“If you’re using a hose for watering the garden or washing the car, you can prevent any wastage by using a trigger nozzle.
“If the kids are keen for some water play, filling up a small paddling pool is a better idea than leaving a sprinkler running. And when they’re done with the paddling pool, you could reuse the water on your garden.”
Mercer says while Auckland’s water storage dams are almost full – with total dam storage currently 98.93% (Friday, October 20) – weather forecasters are predicting a fairly dry late spring and summer.
“NIWA officially declared the arrival of El Niño last month and is predicting strong winds and below normal rainfall in the north of New Zealand.
“We know that Auckland’s water demand can jump as much as 100 million litres on a hot, dry day, compared to our average usage.
“In the peak of the drought in February 2020, we broke water usage records, with one day recording 568 million litres of water used.
“These massive spikes in water demand put pressure on our treatment plants and networks, so we’ll continue to ask everyone to be mindful of their water use. Don’t let your hose run wild and keep your showers to four minutes or less.”
If you’re planning on heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to check out the safe swim website safeswim.org.nz.