Water still short despite rain

Even though we may get rain for Christmas, it pays to think twice about water use, says HCC Smart Water Programme coordinator Charmaine Petereit.

“There are small changes that people can make at home and while their away on holiday that can go a long way toward shrinking our water consumption”.

And here they are –

Fix leaky pipes
One the most common and least productive wastes of water are leaky pipes. The average household can leak more than 35,000 litres of water per year. The biggest culprit is the toilet where leaks are more common because of frequent use. You’ll usually hear it if your toilet isn’t working properly. If it runs when it’s not in use, check the valves and inner parts. A plumber will be able to spot less obvious leaks.

Fill the washing machine to the top
Stick to a washing machine schedule, and wait until you have a full load to wash. Don’t be tempted to only wash a few items.

Take short showers
The average four minute shower with an old head uses 75 litres of water. Replace it with a low-flow shower head and you can cut that down by half.

Brown lawns are all the rage this summer!
In an effort to keep lawns green during a dry summer, some residents tend to overwater. Not only does it waste water, it can actually lessen healthy growth. If you have a stubborn brown patch, try reconfiguring your sprinkler layout rather than upping the water dosage.

Wasting Food
When we waste one thing, we don’t think of the possibility that we’re wasting another. Wasting food has a ripple effect, according to the World Resources Institute; inside the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year worldwide is 170 trillion litres of water. This represents a staggering 24 percent of all water used for agriculture.

“Small decisions throughout the day equate to litres of wasted water. It’s easy to leave the water running while you do dishes or spend the extra five minutes in the shower, but those choices can escalate the need for the city to move to Alert Level 2 or 3,” says Ms Petereit.

Hamilton City, Waikato District and Waipa District Councils are all currently at Water Alert Level 1.

*Further information on the current water levels and Smart Water programme can be found here.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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