More water savings urgently needed

Updated: March 11, 5.30pm

Aucklanders have reduced their water consumption – which is great – but more savings are urgently needed. Everyone is being asked to Save 20. Watercare needs people to use 20 litres less water per day.

In the past 24 hours, Aucklanders have collectively used 415 million litres of water. Total consumption needs to drop below 400 million litres of water per day.

“Our Save 20 target is easily achievable,” says Watercare Chief Executive Raveen Jaduram. “To put it in perspective, it’s only a few minutes less in the shower and turning off the tap when brushing teeth.”

“Ardmore Water Treatment Plant, which supplies up to two thirds of the Auckland region’s water, is continuing to operate at half its capacity due to an unprecedented level of silt in the water coming from the Hunua dams.

“We are maximising production at our four other metropolitan plants which include those in Waikato and Huia.

“Currently we are meeting demand – none of our customers are without water – and the quality of the water has not been compromised. It’s safe to drink straight from the tap.

“The situation at Ardmore is stable but if we can’t achieve the targeted water usage savings we may be forced to releasepartially treated water into the region’s supply. In such a situation, a boil water notice would be issued.”

Last night saw approximately 100mm of rain fall in the Hunua Ranges and Waitakere Ranges, which is where nine of our water storage dams are located.

“The clarity of the water entering the Ardmore Water Treatment Plant is still about 100 times worse than what we would expect to see entering the plant.”

Watercare says water quality has not been compromised; however it is essential that everyone reduces their water use until the end of the month.

This applies to everyone connected to Auckland’s metropolitan water supply network – those living as far south as Pukekohe and as far north as Waiwera.

It’s easy to save water:

 1. Cut your shower time by two minutes: Approximate saving = 16 litres

2. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Approximate saving = 4 litres

3. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.

4. Only run your washing machine when it’s full.

5. Use the half-flush on your toilet.

 MetService has indicated localised thunderstorms and intense rainfall are expected between midday and 7pm this afternoon. These could bring between 25mm and 40mm of rain per hour.

These isolated thunderstorms are anticipated to hit west Auckland, but we can’t rule out severe thunderstorms occurring in the Hunua Ranges.

MetService has also identified the possibility of extremely high winds tomorrow, with gusts forecast to reach 120km/h.