Wellington City Council (WCC) has put Wellington onto level two water restrictions. Water restrictions are enforced through council bylaws on recommendation from Wellington Water. This information below, for our members’ information, is taken from the WCC website.
Wellington’s daily water supply has a limit, as the treatment plants can only supply so much. If demand exceeds what the treatment plants can supply there’s a risk that the water levels in the storage reservoirs across the region are drawn down too low, causing water quality issues and in an extreme scenario even depressurising areas of the network. This can be dangerous as it increases the risk of contamination of drinking water, and boil water notices may need to be issued to stop people getting sick.
Finding and fixing leaks is one of Wellington Water’s top priorities, but with the resources available they can’t fix them all. They’re working on the issue, but it won’t happen overnight. The risk of a water shortage this summer and tighter water restrictions is real, and the situation may shift quickly.
To ensure there’s enough water to go around for the necessities, we need everyone to do their bit. Water restrictions help people understand how they can best save water at their place, and when to do so. If people follow the restrictions, it reduces the chance of moving to higher levels.
This means we have to be very careful to manage the daily water supply and demand, and don’t use too much. That’s where water restrictions come in. They help everyone understand how they can best manage their personal water use, so there’s enough to go round for the necessities.
Level 1 splits outdoor water use between odd and even houses, to spread the load of daily water demand. This means people can water their gardens regularly without everyone using a lot of water all at once. It also reduces waste by restricting watering to the morning and evening, when water is less likely to evaporate in the heat of the day.
Level 2 makes sure people are watering their gardens only when they really need to, with no sprinklers or irrigation systems, and only watering gardens by hand.
Level 3 comes into play when we need to take serious action, and all residential outdoor water use must be stopped. We know that people put a lot of hard mahi and love into their gardens, so consider using grey water to water your garden – just not your vegetables, or any plants you’re planning on eating.
Level 4 means we’re in a significant water shortage. On top of stopping all outdoor water use, we must reduce indoor use. This could include 2-minute showers and reducing laundry to one load per person, per week.