Water  |  16 Dec 2019

Christchurch residents are being urged to cut back on outdoor water use as part of a campaign aimed at ensuring our water supply doesn’t come under too much pressure over the summer.

The Water Like You Oughta campaign encourages people to think carefully about when and how they water their gardens.

“Most summers the household demand for water in Christchurch doubles compared with winter and that’s mostly because of people watering their gardens and lawns,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

“Sprinklers and garden irrigation systems use the most household water by far, so we are asking people not to use them. We want people to use hand-held hoses only and to only water before 7am or after 9pm, when it’s cooler.

“Gardens don’t need watering every day; watering for several minutes every second day is fine. Lawns especially don’t need watering – grass is tougher than most people think. If it turns brown over the summer, it‘ll go green again in autumn.’’

Ms Beaumont says if people water wisely, the city may be able to get through the summer without the need for water restrictions.

“If we do need to impose restrictions it will not be because we are at risk of running out of water. It will be because we need to ease the pressure on the water supply network.

“When it gets really hot we struggle to get water through the pipes and into the reservoirs fast enough to meet demand. If we can’t keep the reservoirs filled, the pressure across the network drops.

“It also leaves us exposed in the event of a fire because having enough water in the reservoirs is essential for fire-fighting.

“This summer we’re hoping residents will help us manage the demand on the network by following our advice to only water their gardens with hand-held hoses, either early in the morning or late at night, and only every second day,’’ Ms Beaumont says.

“We’ll be doing our best to lead by example. We’re aiming to save water by only watering Council parks and sports fields after 9pm and before 7am. The Botanic Gardens has its own private well so it’s not drawing water from the public water supply but it is also supporting our conservation campaign by not watering during the day.’’

For more tips on how you can save water this summer, check out ccc.govt.nz/savewater.