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Water use rockets in area

14 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

Excessive water usage by residents in Te Kuiti and Piopio has raised alarms at the Waitomo District Council.

A consumption reading carried out last year shows residents in Te Kuiti and Piopio use on average more than 345L of water per person per day compared to the Council’target usage of 200L per person, per day.

In December 2014, the council monitored the water use of un-metered properties on a per person basis for all four water supply schemes – Te Kuiti, Piopio, Benneydale and Mokau – against readings taken in December 2011.

They are: Te Kuiti – 497L in 2011 up to 498 in 2014, Piopio 621 down to 347, Mokau 171 up to 212 and Benneydale 215 down to 178. These figures do not include commercial water use and system leaks.

The alarming level of consumption (an average bathtub holds 180L), has council’s staff concerned and residents are urged to conserve water all year round – not just during summer.

PRECIOUS RESOURCE

WDC asset group manager Christiaan van Rooyen says the council puts water restrictions in place during summer to highlight the need for residents to use water wisely due to less rainfall and higher consumption as people try and cool off and maintain their gardens and properties.

“Generally these restrictions are effective and this shows through in our water readings,” he says.

“Now we need to starting moving towards a year-round conservation effort across all communities especially Te Kuiti and Piopio where on average residents use in excess of 200 litresper person, per day which is the accepted allocation of water per person and a target that we would like to aim for.”

Mr van Rooyen says year-round water conservation should be a top priority for all North King Country residents in an effort to preserve the precious resource for future generations.

"There are important environmental and financial sustainability reasons local residents all need to use less water in their everyday lives.

“Most importantly, high water use places an unsustainable demand on the Mangaokewa Stream (Te Kuiti) and Kurutahi Stream (Piopio).

“These are finite water resources which must be preserved so that there is enough water for everyone now and in the future.”

Jimaima Hoque Senior Water Treatment Plant operator

LIQUID GOLD: Waitomo District Council senior water treatment plant operator Jimaima Hoque urges local residents to conserve water to ensure there is enough of the life giving resource now and into the future.

METERS

Mr van Rooyen says the financial impact for ratepayers of implementing universal water meters to track individual properties in the district is a significant cost.

The overall cost is estimated at $500,000 plus on-going costs to read meters on a regular basis and invoice customers.

The water meter charge to ratepayers is estimated at $200 per year, per connected property.

Water used over and above the accepted allocation would be on-charged to customers.

“It may seem like conserving your household’s water use is a huge task and won’t make a difference,” says Mr van Rooyen. “However, with 1798 properties currently connected to the Te Kuiti supply and 228 to the Piopio supply, every effort made around the home and at work to conserve water will make a difference.

If you suspect a water leak or are aware of water being wasted notify the council immediately on – 0800 932 4357.