Kapiti Water Shortage

KCDC bans watering and sprinkling

By Alan Tristram

Sprinklers and other garden watering systems have been banned in most of the district because of the continuing drought and falling river levels.

The water flow in Waikanae River dropped to 1,250 litres per second mid-week and is continuing to fall by 50 litres per day.

“The rain that fell several days ago provided some relief, but no substantial rain for the last 31 days and none predicted for the next week means we need to progress to a stage 2 water restriction for Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae,” says Dave Bassett, KCDC Water  Manager.

Mr Bassett says this means residents in those communities will only be allowed to use hand-held hoses to water their gardens. The stage 2 water restriction will stay in place until some steady rain falls in the Waikanae River catchment. Paekākāriki already has a stage 2 restriction in place and a stage 1 restriction will stay in place for Ōtaki.

“We will also need to look at supplementing river water with some bore water if river levels continue to drop,” Mr Bassett says. “If no rain falls, we will eventually be totally on bore supply.

“If we do end up having to use some bore water, we will use bores with the lowest mineral content first. The most commonly found minerals in bore water are calcium and magnesium which are actually good for you, but some people don’t like the ‘scales’ bore water leaves behind when boiled in kettles although they are completely harmless.”

He says if bore water does have to be used to meet demand, people should avoid washing cars or windows in direct sunlight. This is due to the minerals in bore water potentially leaving white marks behind when drying off in the sun.

“Kāpiti has actually fared pretty well over summer when compared with other districts around New Zealand,” Mr Bassett says. “The Waikato and Northland for example are experiencing drought conditions and have had to restrict water use more severely,” he says.

“Residents here have generally been very aware of how much water they use outdoors and we appreciate their efforts in keeping consumption down.”