Water  |  6 Nov 2020

Banks Peninsula residents are being urged to start saving water now as stream-fed water supplies in the area keep dropping.

 Akaroa’s cumulative rainfall this year is the lowest it has been in a decade, putting extra pressure on the town’s water supply. Its current total rainfall for the year sits at 447mm – less than half the 10-year average of 957mm.

Duvauchelle’s water supply is also under extra pressure, with the streams that supply it running particularly low for November.

“Most water supplies in Banks Peninsula are fed by small streams, which are usually at their lowest when summer water demand is at its highest,” says Helen Beaumont, Council Head of Three Waters and Waste.

“Right now, streams are exceptionally low and expected to keep dropping, so we need residents to get on board early and start saving water now please.

 How to save water

  • Take shorter showers

  • Do one less laundry load per week

  • Water plants with a hand-held hose or watering can (not a sprinkler or irrigator)

  • Only water for several minutes early morning or late evening – when it’s cooler

  • Avoid watering lawns and grass berms

  • Check all taps for leaks – inside and outside

  • If you spot a water leak on public land, let us know so we can fix it quickly

For more ways to save, visit ccc.govt.nz/savewater 

 “At this stage we haven’t imposed formal water restrictions, but we’re watching weather forecasts, stream flows and daily water use very closely. Even if we get scattered rain over coming days, it won’t do much to change the overall situation with the streams.”

Ms Beaumont says as well as ensuring ongoing access to drinking water, the streams also need to be protected.

“Because we have resource consents issued to us by Environment Canterbury, we need to make sure we’re not taking too much water from streams that are already very low. Taking too much has an impact on the ecosystem – the plants, fish and insects that live in the waterways – and the long-term quality of the water itself.”

Ms Beaumont says the Council’s water supply assets in Banks Peninsula are in good working order and any alternative water sources are being used to full potential to minimise takes from streams.

Last month Christchurch residents were also urged to start watching their water use as demand on the city’s water supply network ramped up early.

The seasonal outlook from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) indicates the current warm and dry trend is likely to continue until at least the end of the year.

“If everyone pitches in and cuts back on their water use this summer, especially outdoors and in the garden, then everyone benefits,” says Ms Beaumont.