Our city’s water comes from 10 bores and the Turitea Dam. The dam level has started to drop a lot over the past few weeks and it is now only 65 per cent full.
While that still sounds like a lot of water, the dam level drops quickly due to the shape of the valley. Water closer to the bottom of the dam also requires more treatment due to increased concentration of levels of naturally forming elements such as iron and manganese.
Waste and Water Manager, Mike Monaghan, says Palmy residents have jumped on board the summer water use trial, which encourages voluntary water conservation by only using hoses between 7pm and 9pm, every second day.
“We were very optimistic that we’d be able to avoid a summer without restrictions, but a lack of heavy rain for a few weeks, and steady demand, means unfortunately restrictions could be on the horizon.”
He says forecast rain this weekend, teamed with residents reducing their water consumption, could be enough to avoid restrictions.
He says a decision will be made early next week about whether restrictions will be needed.
Ashhurst, Bunnythorpe and Longburn will not be affected as they have their own water supplies. However, we’d encourage them to continue to take part in the summer water use trial, and choose to reduce water use.
Mr Monaghan says Palmy is lucky to have a range of water sources.
“While many other towns and cities have been in restrictions for months, our planning and investment in our water assets means our residents can be assured that even if we go into outdoor water restrictions, we continue to have a safe supply of water for their families.”
How you can save water at home
- Avoid sprinklers and control your hose with trigger – you can stop and start the hose instantly and direct water where you need it, so you don't waste a drop.
- Sweep paths and decks instead of hosing them clean.
- Use a bucket of soapy water and a sponge to clean your car instead of a hose – this can save 10-15 litres of water a minute.
- Mulch your garden to keep moisture in – mulch can cut evaporation by up to 70 per cent.
- Remove weeds – weeds compete for available moisture.
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth – this can save 6 litres of water a minute.
- Fix a dripping tap – a dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day.
- Use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher – this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.
- Take shorter showers – showering can use up to 18 litres of water a minute. If you cut your shower time from 10 minutes to five, you could save as much as 90 litres of water.