Tauranga City is nearing water restrictions as summer and periods without rain continue.
Council’s city waters manager Stephen Burton says they are currently tracking above 50,000m3 per day, which is close to them implementing water restrictions.
He says the first instance would be a sprinkler ban. This means that no sprinklers or irrigation systems can be used, and all watering must be done by hand.
He says they are continuing to monitor water usage before they make a final call.
See below for tips on how to save water this summer.
Tips on saving water in summer
If water use increases dramatically over summer, we may need to introduce water restrictions. The first level of restrictions would be a sprinkler ban. This would mean that no sprinklers or irrigation systems can be used, and all watering must be by hand.
Restrictions can be avoided if we all do our bit to conserve water at home.
• Soak your garden every few days rather than giving it a quick drink every night. Light watering means water evaporates quickly and makes the roots grow shallow. Soaking the ground every few days encourages the roots to go deeper into the soil where moisture is held longer.
• Water early in the morning or later in the evening so water doesn’t evaporate.
• Mulch your garden with grass clippings or compost. Mulching keeps moisture in.
• Raise the blades on your lawn mower a notch. Leaving 25-30mm of leaf provides shade to the roots and soil, slowing water loss and protecting your lawn from sunburn.
• If your lawn does dry out, most grasses including Tauranga’s common Kikuyu grass will grow back again.
• Dig a small trench around trees and large plants to help retain water.
• Dig the soil – well-turned, aerated soil will absorb water easily.
• Rather than using a sprinkler, invest in an irrigation system and use a timer to run it. Remember, if a sprinkler ban is introduced, you will need to turn your irrigation off.
When landscaping a new garden
• Should you be planning to sow some new grass or put in a new lawn, make sure you do this before summer so your grass has time to settle ahead of the hot and dry months. Water restrictions may also mean you will not be able to water new grass as often as it needs.
• Landscape to suit your area – choose plants that thrive in our local climate and suit your garden’s unique features (sun, shade, dry, damp etc).
• Hydro-Zone your garden – group plants that have similar water needs. • Plant shade trees – the shade reduces evaporation and soil temperature.
• Make sure new plants are put in well before the dry summer months.
• Fix any leaking taps, pipes or cisterns.
• Put a jug of water in your fridge for instant cold water.
• Make sure the dishwasher is full before you use it.
• Scrape dirty dishes rather than rinsing. Modern dishwashers can take it!
• Put the plug into the sink to wash dishes or scrub vegetables, don’t leave the water running.
• Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth.
• Take shorter showers. A quick shower uses less than quarter of the water used in a bath.
• Use the short toilet flush when you can, that uses about half the water of a full flush.
• Install covers on pools and spas to reduce water evaporation.
• Use a bucket to wash your car rather than a hose.
• Wash your car on the grass.
• Use a broom, not a hose, to clean paths.