Auckland Council eases water restrictions for summer

11:59 am on 26 November 2020

Auckland Council has agreed to ease water restrictions for summer.

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Photo: 123RF

From 14 December, residents in the supercity will be able to use a hand-held hose at home, provided it is attended and has a trigger nozzle.

However, residents have been warned to use water wisely as a shortage continues.

The city experienced its worst drought on record between 1 November 2019 and 31 May 2020, and storage dams still 19 per cent below average for this time of year.

Mayor Phil Goff said the city was "not out of the woods yet".

Watercare and the council had spent $224 million to increase water supply, he said.

"We are already taking 25 million litres a day more from the Waikato River, and by mid next year we will take a further 50 million litres through the expansion of our Tūākau treatment plant.

"A further 5 million litres a day is coming from the new Pukekohe plant we opened last Friday, with 6 million to 12 million litres extra from the Hays Creek dam starting early January.

"More supply and greater water conservation should see us through the summer, but if serious drought continues and demand increases radically, restrictions will have to be put back in place."

Watercare acting chief executive Marlon Bridge said the eased restrictions would allow people to water their gardens, top up pools, flush boat motors and wash their homes and cars - but only using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.

Sprinklers and residential irrigation systems are not permitted. Home water blasters with trigger nozzles can also be used.

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