Auckland water consumption levels were exceptionally low over the weekend, demonstrating that saving water is not just a fad.
On Friday (22 January), Aucklanders used 426 million litres - around 87 million litres less water than the same day last year, which is a massive saving. This was followed up with 418 million litres on Saturday and yesterday (Sunday), the figure was the lowest of all: 402 million litres. So, 236 million litres was saved compared to the same three-day period last year.
Head of our drought incident team, Mark Bourne, acknowledges cooler temperatures may have had some impact on decreased usage but says the figures are really encouraging as we head into February, which is traditionally the hottest month of the year: “We started our water is precious campaign almost a year ago and these demand figures show that careful water use is not a passing trend. Aucklanders have adopted shorter showers and other measures, as part of their lifestyle.
We know that Aucklanders are passionate about sustainability and looking after the environment - just look at the way we all ditched plastic shopping bags in favour of reusable options. It’s great to see that water is now seen as something we should value, and we’d like everyone to keep using water wisely.”
Auckland is still recovering from drought. Since November 2019 to May 2020, Auckland received 60 per cent of normal rainfall. Yesterday we received 2.5mm of rain in both the Waitākere and Hūnua ranges. The dams are currently 64.6% full, which is more than 20 per cent below normal levels for this time of year. Latest Metservice weather forecasts indicate we are experiencing an unusually dry La Niña weather pattern this year. A high pressure will block any chance of decent rain for the next four weeks. Normal temperatures are due to return this week.
Water restrictions were introduced in May last year and adjusted in December. Since restrictions were introduced, Aucklanders have saved more than 10 billion litres of water.
Residents can currently use water blasting devices or hoses, when fitted with a trigger nozzle. No sprinklers are allowed.
Commercial operators can also use hoses with trigger devices or use a regular hose if it’s for health, safety, emergency, and biosecurity reasons. Sports fields may be watered with irrigation systems fitted with soil moisture sensors or rain sensors. Car wash services may also operate.
We are still urging everyone to continue saving water where possible. For water saving tips and advice, please visit waterforlife.org.nz