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Water conservation is critical this summer

brena smith waipawa river downstream

 With the region about to experience what is predicted to be an extremely dry summer, water conservation will be critical.

 The water teams within Hastings District Council and Napier City Council are working together on co-ordinated messaging as much as possible, to ensure clarity on how and when people can use water outside of their home.

 That messaging starts this week with the Know our Water campaign across a range of media channels, helping people understand the journey of water, the region’s water sources, and ways to conserve water.

 Hawke’s Bay Regional Council manages the allocation of water in Hawke’s Bay. Chief executive Nic Peet says a regional council study released this year showed that current water use in Hawke’s Bay was unsustainable. “Without changes there will be serious water shortages in the next 20 to 40 years.”

 Conserving water is one of the multiple tools in the toolbox, along with more efficient horticulture and farming practices, and freshwater storage options, he says.

 During the summer months, Hawke’s Bay has some of the highest rates of water use in the country, double that is used in winter.

 Russell Bond, Napier City Council’s Executive Director Infrastructure, says managing water use is vital. “Caring about how we use water starts with building our knowledge of how precious it is, so we’re not taking it for granted. We are lucky in Hawke’s Bay to have our aquifers, and there are things each of us can do to manage the demand that’s put on them.”

 The Know our Water campaign includes tips for individuals and households to help manage their use of water. Hastings District Council drinking water manager Matt Kersel says awareness needs to be followed by actions.

 “Giving people simple things they can do means they can change immediately. Together all those little changes add up to a whole of community, region-wide, approach to saving water. We are asking everyone, wherever they are in the region, to do their bit for water conservation.”

 Hawke’s Bay councils are doing their bit to manage their water use. Council water demand management initiatives include reducing watering of public gardens, watering at night when there is less load on the system, stopping grass watering except where it is required for health and safety reasons such as on sports fields, limiting splash pad operation to the times when they are most used, and replacing old style water irrigation systems on sports grounds with water-saving irrigation systems.

The Know Our Water campaign will run across print, social and radio throughout summer, adapted to reflect water restrictions.

 Tips for saving water at home

  • check for leaks and fix any leaking taps, pipes and cisterns
  • use 'eco' settings on dishwashers and washing machines if available and don’t run them unless they are full
  • scrape dirty dishes rather than rinsing
  • turn off taps while brushing teeth
  • take shorter showers
  • limit toilet flushing: if it's yellow let it mellow
  • store drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap cold
  • follow the water restrictions when in place
  • don't water the concrete, use a directional sprinkler
  • reuse 'grey water' from the washing machine on lawns and gardens where possible
  • use a bucket of water when washing the car rather than the hose
  • use a broom to clean paths rather than hosing
  • put off topping up swimming pools and use a cover to minimise evaporation

 For more information go to, search #waterconservation

 To read the Regional Council report, go to, search #watersecurity


29 November 2023

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