29 Aug 2020

Rain fills Auckland’s dams, but hose ban stays

1:02 pm on 29 August 2020

Auckland's water reservoirs have nudged above 66 percent full, but water restrictions remain in place.

Lower Huia Dam, Waitakere Ranges

The lower Huia dam in the Waitakere Ranges has filled in heavy rain recently, but remains drier than usual. Photo: Supplied / Watercare

At this time of year, the dams in the Hūnua and Waitakere Ranges are usually about 88 percent full, so they are currently 22 percent below normal levels.

The latest update from Watercare shows Aucklanders' water use is well below the 405 million litre daily target set by Watercare during a severe drought last summer.

Yesterday, Aucklanders used 377 million litres, while the seven-day rolling average is 372m litres.

The Hūnua Ranges have had 68.5mm of rain over the last seven days, while 77.5mm of rain fell on the Waitakere Ranges.

Despite the improvements, water restrictions imposed in May remain in place.

Residential users cannot use outdoor hoses or water blasters connected to the metropolitan water supply.

Businesses can only use outdoor hoses and water blasters connected to the main supply for emergencies, and car washes can only operate if they use recycled water.

Commercial users also cannot water plants, paddocks or sports fields unless the irrigation system is fitted with soil moisture or rain sensors.

The restrictions do not apply to some rural townships in the region with local water sources.

Auckland is currently at Covid-19 alert level three, so Watercare is asking people to continue washing their hands carefully, but to turn off the tap while soaping their hands.

The region faced its worst drought on record between November last year and May this year, with 40 per cent less rainfall than normal.

Earlier this month, chief executive Raveen Jaduram, who had been on a salary of $780,000, resigned.

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