Summer water use

We want you to think about using water differently in summer than you do in winter. From December to April, we're asking you to choose to use less.

Photo shows man watering vegetable garden with a hand-held hose.

In the past we managed the city's water supply by implementing mandatory restrictions. This year, for the second summer in a row, we're trying something different. 

Make the choice to only water outside every second day

Summer water use means only using unattended hoses and sprinklers on your lawn or garden every second day – and then only between 7pm and 9pm. Your day is based on your house number: even houses water on even days, and odd houses on odd days.

This is essentially the same as a Level 2 water restriction but is voluntary.

We're asking people to start these efforts from December, through to April.

Many other councils use this model already and their residents love how much easier it makes things.

This applies to all of our district

Palmy's water comes from the Turitea Dam and 10 bores around the city and villages. Ashhurst, Longburn and Bunnythorpe each have only one bore to supply them.

Moving to summer water use is not about having insufficient water but rather being careful stewards of a precious resource. Our city is extremely fortunate compared to many others around the country. We have planned well and have a range of plentiful water sources available.

This is about showing that we value water, and don't waste it. It focuses on choosing to minimise our water use over summer, changing our behaviour long-term, and valuing water as the incredibly precious taonga it is.

We think Palmy, Ashhurst, Longburn and Bunnythorpe will get behind a conservation effort like this as we know our residents place great value on our environment. We saw the power of your conservation efforts back in September 2020 when our main water pipe to the city broke and due to your amazing efforts, we were able to save more than 100,000 litres of water an hour!

Every year we get lots of enquiries asking when water restrictions will start. This approach means you won't have to wonder. We will only move to compulsory restrictions on outdoor water use if our water conservation efforts aren't enough, and we have concerns about a water shortage in the near future.

Summer water use 101

  • Councils vary in the timing for their summer watering period. In Palmy, we've decided to run from the start of December to the end of April.
  • Only hose your garden or lawn every second day between 7pm and 9pm. Watering in the evening avoids the heat of the day when evaporation losses can be high.
  • You can continue to do other watering outside like washing your car or home, but we ask you try to do this on your assigned day, and avoid the evening peak watering period if possible (that's 4pm to 8pm).
  • We will only move to compulsory restrictions if our water conservation efforts aren't enough, and we become concerned about how much water we have available.
  • We'll be promoting summer water use across the city over summer, including by letting businesses know and encouraging them to save water over summer too.
  • Winter water use means outdoor water use can return to normal but we'll still be encouraging you to only use what you need.