Extreme weather  |  27 Jan 2023

Christchurch residents are being urged to reduce their water use with hot and dry conditions forecast for the coming weeks.

Water demand in Christchurch is increasing, and at peak times there’s already pressure on the water supply network. 

 Top tips - Hold your hoses - Using a handheld hose to water your garden gives you more control and uses a lot less water.

Morning time? Watering the garden is fine - Plants need less water when the sun’s not out and the wind's died down.

Shorten your shower - Keep your showers short and sweet. Use a timer or match the length of your shower with your favourite song. 

Slow the flow - Older showerheads often use a lot more water than needed. Replacing it with a modern, low flow showerhead is an easy cost saving exercise, and you won’t lose out on water pressure!

Seek the leak - Dripping taps, showerheads, toilets and leaky pipes can waste a lot of water. Seek the leak and read your water meter.

Be a one-load wonder - Washing a full load of laundry is the most water-efficient way to do your laundry.

Contain the rain - Installing a rainwater tank is a simple process and provides another water source.

It’s written in the star-rating - When buying appliances, look for those with the most stars from WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme).  

“In previous years we’ve seen extreme pressure on the Christchurch water supplies when temperatures have increased, and we’re expecting that could happen again in the coming days and weeks,” says Council Head of Three Waters Helen Beaumont.

“To help ease the burden on our water supply network we’re asking residents to be extra mindful of their water use as temperatures increase.”

“Irrigation systems and unsupervised sprinklers use a lot of water. To reduce your outdoor water use we suggest watering for three to five minutes every second day with a hose or watering can.”

“This is enough to keep plants in good condition throughout the hottest months. Watering early in the morning or after 9pm means the water is absorbed by the soil instead of evaporated by the heat.”

“If water restrictions are needed later in the summer, it won’t be because we’re at risk of running out of water; it’ll be because we need to ease the pressure on the water supply network.

“During hot weather demand increases dramatically and we struggle to get enough water through the pipes and into our reservoirs. If we can’t keep the reservoirs filled, water pressure drops across the network.

“Having enough water in the reservoirs is also essential for fire-fighting, so pressure on the water supply network can put us at risk in emergency situations.

 “We’re doing our best to lead by example and have a leak detection programme underway to reduce the amount of wasted water leaking from Council pipes.

“We’re also working directly with commercial and residential customers with leaks to help get them sorted and avoid excess water use charges.”

Find more water saving tips at ccc.govt.nz/water-like-oughta