Water levels reach critical

by Andy Bryenton

Residents on Dargaville’s town supply are being asked to conserve water as much as possible, as the town’s catchment from the Kaihu River runs low and water treatment machinery works overtime.

Water restrictions officially reached level four out of four last week, following close to two months of dry skies and no substantial rain.

Meteorologists consulted by the Kaipara District Council predict up to another eight weeks of dry conditions, so the move to level four is a preventative measure for now. There is no level higher; any further restriction would constitute an emergency, which the KDC say they are working hard to prevent.

Council spokesperson Ben Hope says that while level four restrictions mean that it’s forbidden to use any water at all for outdoor purposes such as irrigation and watering, car washing, water blasting or filling pools, there’s a lot that people can achieve by being smart with their indoor water use.

One example is catching shower water in a bucket that stands next to you in the shower stall. During the course of a wash — this will fill up, providing water for house plants when it has cooled down. Dishwater can be saved for a similar purpose, so long as it is not contaminated with harsh cleaning chemicals.

“Adding a full milk bottle to the toilet cistern, not running the tap when shaving, fitting a low-flow showerhead and other simple tricks can save litres of precious H2O his time of year and will have a positive effect on a household’s water bill. However, until the weather changes, there would seem to be no option but to carefully manage the resources available.”