Hutt News : September 13th 2011
33 HUTT NEWS, SEPTEMBER 13, 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 it's needed 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 these sources. 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 for summer: • 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: www.gw.govt.nz/water 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. A DRY" SUMMER AHEAD 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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