Water  |  7 Mar 2019

Christchurch City Council’s Head of Parks has assured residents the Council is practising what it preaches when it comes to limiting its own water use in light of district-wide water restrictions put in place this week.

Level-three water restrictions apply for Christchurch until the end of May, to help keep water use down while critical upgrade work is carried out to the city’s well heads. Only hand-held watering is permitted on alternate days.

A water hose.

Only hand-held watering is permitted in Christchurch.

“We’re certainly doing our best to lead by example and make sure we’re taking steps to limit our own water use in our parks, gardens and sports fields,” Andrew Rutledge says.

“As much a possible we’re restricting water use by only watering our major sports fields, such as Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub and Hagley Oval, on alternate days and between 9pm and 7am, when it’s much cooler.”

Mr Rutledge says some of the Council’s sports fields have a sand base which must be irrigated to stop the turf dying.

“We have nine sand-based fields spread across six community sports parks, as well as the Hospital Corner fields in South Hagley Park. If the turf died, it would be very expensive to replace, so we do irrigate these at most once every two days, during night time.

“The remaining 73 Council sports fields are only irrigated to a level that ensures player safety, usually twice a week.”

A number of private organisations are also responsible for providing fields for community sport, and those without their own water supply are expected to minimise water use as much as practicable, Mr Rutledge says.

“Many of these fields are not watered automatically and rely on volunteer support, so it’s not unusual to see them applying water during the day time.”

The Botanic Gardens has its own private well so doesn’t draw water from the public water supply, Mr Rutledge says.

“However, staff will still be minimising water use in the gardens to meet the level-three restrictions, without jeopardising the important plant collections.

“Similarly, ornamental gardens and recently redeveloped areas of the inner city are being irrigated only once every three days and during the evening.”