City council busts water myths

The city council is taking a myth-busting approach to remind residents about the need to save water this summer.

The city council has put out a series of fact-based articles via its website and Facebook page in an effort to correct common misunderstandings about water use in Christchurch.

Water Supply Programme Manager Helen Beaumont says it’s important people get the facts so they understand the importance of saving water this summer.

“We’ve had a lot people effectively calling us out for asking them to save water when water bottling plants are taking it out of the ground every day. But there are two problems with that. Firstly, the Council doesn’t decide who can or can’t take groundwater, Environment Canterbury does, while taking environmental factors into account. And secondly, the water taken by water bottling plants doesn’t actually affect our public water supply – they’re separate issues.”

Ms Beaumont says another common misunderstanding is around the need to conserve water this summer.

“It’s not that we’re running out of water. The problem is we need to take some water wells out of service so we can upgrade them and stop chlorinating as fast as possible. If we keep using too much water, we have to use more wells to cope, and then we can’t work on them. It’s really that simple,” she says.

A wet start to summer in Christchurch has seen the Council’s online Water Dial spend a number of consecutive days in the “green zone”, which is where the Council wants to see it stay as the city moves into the warmest part of the year.

Ms Beaumont says the rain means people generally don’t feel the need to turn on their garden sprinklers or irrigators, which are the biggest household water users.

“Running a garden sprinkler or irrigator for an hour can use up to 1,500 litres – or 150 buckets – of water. That’s a huge amount when you consider we’re targeting an average daily use of 212 litres per person this summer. We’re asking people to use hand-held hoses to water – during early morning or late evening – because you can direct exactly where the water goes and avoid wasting it.”

More water saving tips are available on the Council’s website at