Tauranga water restrictions lifted
Tauranga households can return to normal water use as water restrictions have been lifted today Monday, June 28.
Flow levels in the streams that supply Tauranga with water have stabilised but remain lower than normal, driving a call to the community to continue to use water wisely.
Tauranga City Council's City Waters director Stephen Burton says restrictions were no longer needed after maintaining the sprinkler ban throughout autumn - making this year’s water restrictions the longest in Tauranga’s recent history.
“We are pleased to finally be able to lift restrictions and want to thank the community for their efforts in saving water.”
A ban on the use of irrigation systems and sprinklers was put in place on December 23 2020, following a steady increase in water consumption and low flow levels in the steams that supply Tauranga with water.
“City-wide sprinkler restrictions have never been necessary beyond the first week of April. The length of this year’s waters restrictions reflects the knock-on effect of three unusually dry summers for the Bay of Plenty which has had an impact on soil moisture and stream levels,” says Stephen.
“Whilst flow levels in the Tautau and the Waiorohi Streams are now stable, flow is still lower than normal. Should we experience another winter that’s drier than usual, we will start next spring on the back foot making early water restrictions likely. “
An education campaign will be launched later in the year, encouraging people to make every day a water conservation day, which Stephen believes is a necessary shift in mindset.
“Water is a finite resource, of which low stream levels are a stark reminder.
“This means we are asking the community to continue their conservation habits when using water. It’s a year-round change in attitude that will help ease the need for future water restrictions.”
The construction of the Waiāri Water Supply Scheme is underway, due to be completed late 2022, to help meet the future water supply needs of Tauranga.