Water  |  20 Jan 2020

Christchurch City Council is encouraging residents to keep up their water-saving efforts this summer, especially on the hotter days.

Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont says while the city’s water use has remained mostly moderate to date, it quickly ramps up when the mercury rises.

“Most of that water use is garden sprinklers and irrigation systems running for too long in the heat of the day. If you use either of those, please make the effort to only use them before 7am or after 9pm, when it’s cooler. Inexpensive water timers can be both a major time-saver and a water-saver, and several minutes of watering early morning or late evening is plenty to keep plants hydrated and healthy.

“Please resist the temptation to water lawns and berms – grass is much tougher than most people think. If it does turn brown, it‘ll go green again in autumn anyway.”

Ms Beaumont says letters and emails from residents about water wastage are common at this time of year.

“We often hear from concerned residents about people’s sprinklers being on in the middle of the day, or of water mostly landing on the pavement instead of the plants. If you see this happening, perhaps have a polite conversation with the person about whether they could delay their watering until the cool of the evening, and whether they could switch to hand-held watering instead of a sprinkler. A hose with a trigger-gun is ideal because it’s very accurate and only works when you hold the trigger down, so there’s very little water wasted.

Ms Beaumont says the Council’s “water like you oughta” message will continue throughout summer to keep up the conversation about water conservation.

“We’re grateful for everyone already doing their bit to save water. We know there are plenty of people heeding the call, and it really does add up to a big difference when it comes to our ability to keep supplying a fair amount of water to everyone, as well as keeping a ready supply in reserve for fire-fighting purposes.”

With an extended weather forecast signalling little rain and gradually increasing temperatures for the rest of January, Ms Beaumont says the Council will be monitoring daily water use very closely.

“We’re not asking people to go without, just to water their gardens carefully and when it’s cooler so that we can hopefully avoid city-wide water restrictions this summer. In other words, water like you oughta.”