A city wide sprinkler and irrigation system ban begins at 12pm today, Wednesday 23 December, due to a combination of low flow levels in the streams that supply Tauranga’s water and the increasing high water demand our city is experiencing. This means we are asking residents and businesses to stop using all sprinklers and irrigation systems until further notice.
Residents can continue to water their gardens, by hand-held hose or watering can, at the cooler times of day, between 5am and 8am and from 7pm to 10pm.
Director of City Waters, Stephen Burton, said that water usage started climbing steeply in the past 10 days. “A good amount of rain in November and early December has tided us over until now, but with water usage up and stream levels this low, we’re now forced to implement restrictions.”
"We have not seen stream levels this low. Rainfall for Tauranga is down about 30% compared to average annual rainfall, making our region much drier than normal,” he said.
The city’s current water demand is up by 23% on normal average water use. Average usage during the year is 43.7 million litres per day, during the past week demand hit 55.5 million litres per day.
Mr Burton emphasises it’s a change in attitude. ”Every day is a water conservation day,” he said. “Small changes in and around the house can go a long way, especially when it comes to watering the garden.”
Sprinkler and irrigation systems restrictions aim to reduce outdoor water use to ensure we avoid the need for more stringent measures. Should water use remain high, or the situation in stream flow levels deteriorate, the next step would be an outdoor hose ban.
Tauranga continues to monitor the situation in streams in close cooperation with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and will keep the community posted of changes
Read more about stream levels and concerns at https://www.boprc.govt.nz/your-council/news/news-and-media-releases/media-releases-2020/december-2020/bay-of-plenty-streams-dropping-despite-november-rain.
For further information and tips on water conservation in and around the house, head to www.tauranga.govt.nz/savingwater.
To report water leaks or breaches to water restrictions, phone 07 577 7000.