Home' The Wellingtonian : September 15th 2011 Contents 17
THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
One of these water
storage lakes at Te Marua
will be empty this summer
while it's upgraded
Save water with a
hose trigger -- you'll
only use water when
Mulching your garden
keeps moisture in the soil
so it needs less watering
Fix leaking taps,
pipes and toilets
WHAT'S GREATER WELLINGTON'S
WATER SUPPLY ROLE?
Greater Wellington supplies treated bulk
water to the Porirua, Wellington, Upper Hutt
and Lower Hutt city councils. Most of this
water comes from the Hutt, Wainuiomata
and Orongorongo rivers and an aquifer
(underground water). In summer, water
from the Stuart Macaskill storage lakes in
Te Marua makes up for any shortages from
There'll be less stored water this summer for Porirua,
Wellington, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt while one of the
storage lakes at Te Marua is empty. If it's a dry summer,
we'll need savings of up to 15%
The souther n Stuart Macaskill lake at Te Marua will
be out of action this summer while it's upgraded to
increase its storage capacity and resistance to
earthquakes. With an empty lake it will be harder
to overcome a shortage of water from our rivers
(which supply about 60% of our water) if we get
a warm, dry summer.
But by working together, we can ease the pressure on
our water supply. And if everyone saves a bit more
water, it will help to avoid tough restrictions.
HOW TO PREPARE
No matter what you use water for, you can help. Here
are some top water saving tips to help you prepare
• Put a 1 litre bottle of water or sand (with the top on)
in the cistern of your single-flush toilet (save up to
40 litres of water a day)
• Fix leaking taps, pipes and toilets (a leak can waste
over 100 litres per day)
• Put a flow control "trigger" on your hose for as little
as $5 (a hose can waste 10 to 12 litres of water a
minute when it's on but not being used)
• Mulch your garden beds (mulch slows moisture
loss by up to 70%)
You might also want to consider bringing outdoor
jobs that require a lot of water -- such as house and
window washing or water-blasting -- forward to early
spring or delay them until autumn.
And if you're planning a major purchase like a washing
machine or dishwasher, look into water-efficient
appliances -- these can use less than half the water
of inefficient ones.
For more information on how
to save water, see:
WHEN SUMMER COMES...
If it's a dry spring or summer, extra water savings
will be necessary. Greater Wellington will let you
know how we're doing for water and provide simple
tips on how you can help.
Why the upgrade?
"The upgrade will increase the lakes' strength in
an earthquake," says Murray Kennedy, Greater
Wellington's Utilities and Services General Manager.
"At present there's a risk of significant cracking of
the lake lining, which could cause leakage, so we're
installing a tough, flexible liner.
"We also need to increase the capacity of the lakes
to have more water stored for peak summer use. The
upgrade will give another 400 million litres of stored
water -- enough to maintain normal supply for up to
two weeks longer in a drought."
The southern lake will be empty this summer
(2011/12) and the northern lake will be empty in
summer 2012/13. If there are any delays a lake may
be empty in summer 2013/14.
Councillor Nigel Wilson, Chair of Greater Wellington's
Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee, says the
upgrade is an important step to maintain a reliable
water supply -- especially during dry periods -- for
the four cities' growing population.
The upgrade is an important step
to maintain a reliable wate r supply
"Other projects are also being planned to increase
supply -- but when they happen will depend on
whether water use stays at current levels as the
population or commercial activity grows."
The Stuart Macaskill lakes upgrade will take place over the next two to three
years, requiring a lake to be empty each summer. Why is Greater Wellington
doing this project?
Other things you can do during summer include
avoiding leaving the tap on while brushing your
teeth, taking shorter showers and only doing full
loads of washing. Make sure you follow your local
council's restrictions on garden watering (check
with your local council for details).
WHAT ARE LOCAL COUNCILS DOING?
The Porirua, Wellington, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt
city councils each have annual programmes to locate
and quickly fix leaks in city pipelines. Other council
actions include taking care to manage watering of
public parks and gardens effectively and installing
more water-efficient fittings in council facilities.
As in previous summers, council water patrols will
be on the streets checking that people are following
local water restrictions.
Preparations will need to start on another water
source by 2014 if there aren't further gains in
water use efficiency.
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