Water asset engineer, Dora Lou says there has been no significant rain for almost eight weeks.
We've managed to hold off on introducing restrictions until now for two main reasons:
• Following last summer's drought, Council invested in the
city's artesian bores thereby reducing reliance on the Turitea dams
(upper and lower).
• More and more residents are becoming aware that water is a finite resource and that we need to use it wisely.
"While these efforts have significantly delayed the introduction of water restrictions they're still no match for the conditions we now find ourselves in," says Dora.
As at midday Friday 3 April, 2014 the Upper Turitea Dam water level was at 3.7 metres below the spillway.
Dora Lou says the current daily demand is around 30,000 m3, which is 20% higher than the same time last year when Level 2 Water restrictions were in place. Dora says the evening peak is high which indicates significant outdoor water consumption.
Therefore we are left with no choice but to introduce Level 2 water restrictions as of tomorrow, Saturday 5th April.
Unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems cannot be used.
Handheld hoses can only be used between 5.00 pm and 7.00 pm on
alternate days as follows:
Houses with even street numbers on even dates
Houses with odd street numbers on odd dates.
Dora Lou says the reason we're introducing Level 2 Water Restrictions as opposed to Level 1 Water Restrictions is because we do not believe Level 1 will be effective given the cooler April weather. We will closely monitor the water demand, city storage and the weather forecast to decide whether further restrictions are required.
"The weather forecast for next week is for rain," says Dora, "However, it is not expected to be significant."
Palmerston North City Council and staff are taking steps to limit the use of water at Council facilities, gardens and lawns.
Ashhurst, Longburn and Bunnythorpe have no restrictions currently in place. However, if the dry weather continues water restrictions may be required.
Dora Lou says two consecutive dry summers and autumns are ringing alarm bells for Council officers and the wider community. "We all need to understand that water is a finite resource and that we all need to conserve water," she says.
Level Two Water restrictions do not apply to those who operate privately owned bores that utilise artesian water such as schools or the Council owned bore at the Hokowhitu Lagoon.