The city council has warned too much water use this summer could slow down its well-head upgrade work and lead to water shortages and a reduced capacity to fight fires.
As the temperature climbs, the city council is encouraging residents to start doing their bit to conserve water and help reduce demand on the district’s water supply network.
The issue wasn’t the amount of water available or the size of the supply network, but rather the network’s ability to deliver water when usage spiked, said water supply improvement programme manager Helen Beaumont.
“When demand for water is high, we can only supply so much through the network. The pumps, pipes and reservoirs can only deliver a certain amount of water at any one time, and if people use too much while we have wells off-line for upgrades, there could be a pressure loss in the system, shortages, or not enough to fight fires.
“Ninety-five per cent of the time, we only need to use about half of the wells and pump stations available in the network. It’s only a problem at times during summer, when demand for water is at its highest.”
Ms Beaumont said the district’s water use was already higher than this time last year so it was important people got the message now.
“We need people to come on board with the campaign to conserve our water. We don’t want to impose restrictions, we want to give people a chance to change their thinking and make some small changes now to their water usage.
As part of its conservation campaign, the Council has created an online water dial – available at ccc.govt.nz/wateruse – which shows the city’s daily water usage against the target for summer.
The Council is encouraging hand-held watering only for lawns and gardens on alternate days between 9pm and 7am, reducing laundry loads, and keeping personal showers to five minutes.
Ms Beaumont said water usage this summer would have a big impact on the Council’s ability to upgrade its well heads and end chlorination sooner.
“We can only work on well heads when they’re not in use. So the less water used this summer, the faster we can upgrade the well heads and the sooner we can end water chlorination in Christchurch.”