Press Release – Porirua City Council
Friday is World Water Day, and in line with this year’s theme of ‘Water Cooperation’, three of Wellington’s Mayors have decided to band together and make sure the region keeps water conservation front of mind in spite of last weekend’s much anticipated rainfall.
As well as doing their bit to save water in their own daily routines, Mayors Wayne Guppy, Nick Leggett and Celia Wade-Brown have agreed to jump into Wellington Harbour next Tuesday the 2nd of April, if the region’s water consumption can dip to an average of 125 ML per day over the course of next week.
Mayor of Upper Hutt, Wayne Guppy, says the Mayoral stunt is intended to motivate residents into continuing their efforts to conserve water.
“Basically, we’re asking the region to dig deep from Monday to Friday next week and do their best to save water. If we can get to an average of 125 ML a day, my Mayoral colleagues and I will be showing off our bombing skills somewhere on the Wellington water-front the following Tuesday morning,” Mr Guppy says.
The Mayor of Porirua, Nick Leggett, says residents’ efforts to conserve water have been commendable, but we’re not out of the woods yet.
“Over the last week or so, residents have really dug deep and achieved some great savings – at one point we were down to 113 ML which is a fantastic result, but it’s so important we keep pushing so that we don’t end up in the same position again with the dry weather forecast over the next ten days,” Mr Leggett says.
Although the heavy rain experienced last weekend was a god-send for farmers and gardeners, there is very little rain forecast over the next ten days, and river levels are dropping back again.
Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown, says she and her Mayoral colleagues are taking the plunge in order to draw attention to how people can change the way they think about water and other resources.
Mr Guppy agrees.
“This is one of the driest periods the region has seen since 1947, and it’s made Wellingtonians more aware of their water use. We need to change the perception that water is free – it costs rate-payers a lot to maintain infrastructure, supply, and treatment, and so the less we use as a matter of course, the better,” he says.
Average domestic water use in the Wellington region is somewhere between 200 and 225 litres per person per day, while Auckland and a number of other major NZ cities are reportedly using 10% or more below that.
The regional council has contingency plans for how to provide more water for a growing population, if needed, but significant long-term water savings could help to defer those projects – and the cost for ratepayers. While the cost of new water storage would depend on which of several options was developed, it is estimated to be at least $30 million and could be over $100 million.
Tips for saving water:
1. Use a plug in the sink when preparing vegetables, washing fruit or washing dishes by hand, or place a smaller container in the sink to reduce water use
2. Don’t pre-rinse dishes before they go in the dishwasher
3. Fill sinks and basins less full than usual
4. Turn the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth, and run it at a low flow rate when on
5. Take shorter showers, try sub-5 minutes – shaving a minute saves up to 10 litres
6. Shower with a bucket, and use the water on your plants
7. Recycle bath water on the garden
8. If you have a single-flush toilet cistern, place a filled one (or two) litre plastic bottle in the cistern (with the top on), to save water with every flush. An average household could save 25 litres per day without reducing the flush effectiveness
9. Save the cold water to reuse when waiting for running water to warm up in the kitchen or bathroom
10. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads
11. Fix leaking taps and toilets – even a very slow drip can waste 10-15 litres per day