What do the water restriction levels mean?

What do the water restriction levels mean?

KN Updated
Tap in front of sunset

Following last year’s drought, Mercury Bay and the entire Coromandel Peninsula are again in the midst of water restrictions. So, what does this actually mean for locals and holidaymakers this summer?


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Five level restriction system

The Thames Coromandel District Council have a 5 level system that they use to communicate the restriction levels. Level 1 meaning no restrictions at all and Level 5 a watering ban.

The five levels of restrictions are:

  • Level 1 - No Restrictions: No official restrictions on water use, but water is a precious resource. Please be mindful of water use regardless.
  • Level 2 - Conserve Water: Residents and holidaymakers are asked to keep using water carefully to ensure our supply continues.
  • Level 3 - Alternate Days:  Hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems can only be used on alternate days. If your address is an even number you can use your hose on even numbered days, and vice versa for odd numbered houses.
  • Level 4 - Hand-held hoses only: A total ban on the use of all sprinkler, unattended hoses and garden irrigation systems. Hand-held hoses can be used on alternate days:  If your address is an even number you can use your hose on even numbered days, and vice versa for odd numbered houses.
  • Level 5 - Watering ban:  Hand-held hoses, unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems are not permitted at any time. This includes a ban on watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, boats, houses, and decks, filling paddling pools and playing under sprinklers. Essential watering of plants, such as vegetable gardens using a hand-held watering can is permitted.

Changes to the restriction levels are posted on the council website and facebook page. The message is also sent via their regular email newsletters.

January temperature reaches all time high

Whitianga recorded it’s warmest recorded temperature on January 6th with a reading of 31.8 degrees according to NIWA.

MetService are forecasting a continued dry January and early February.

"While there will be some rain with the odd heavy downpour it is nowhere near enough to ease the pressure on the water supplies in the district. We also have the latest data from the Waikato Regional Council to indicate the summer dry period will have long legs and extend through March and into April."

Garry Towler our Council's Emergency Management Unit Manager.

Be prepared, conserve water and top up now

Those on tank water are encouraged to top up their supplies now. Some private water tankers are able to fill up from Council supply stations at present.

Tips for conserving water at home:

  • Turn off taps so they don’t drip
  • Repair any leaks in and around your taps
  • Use aerators and /or a water flow-reducer attachment to your taps / showers/ toilets etc.
  • When washing or shaving, partially fill sink rather than using a running tap
  • Catch rainwater or grey water and use for plants and the garden
  • Fill the sink to wash vegetables and rinse dishes
  • Turn the tap off while you are brushing your teeth
  • Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.
  • Promote shorter showers and shallower baths
  • Use a bowl to scrub vegetables in the kitchen sink. You can pour the water on your plants
  • Keep water in a covered jug in the fridge. It saves running the tap to get cold water.
  • If you have to water the garden, do it in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation
  • Use a broom instead of the hose to clean paths and driveways
  • Check taps, pipes, and connections regularly for possible leaks, repair right away
  • If you have rainwater storage, use this supply to water your garden or when you need to wash your car or boat
  • When washing your car, boat, trailer, jet ski etc. limit the use of your hose to a quick spray at the beginning then wash using a bucket. A running hose can waste as much as 10 litres of water a minute
  • Remind visitors and guests that water supplies are limited.

Keep up to date with Whitianga restrictions

Make sure to keep informed and to adhere to the water restrictions. People can be fined for breaches under the Water Supply Bylaw if convicted up $20,000.

Please report water wastage or leaks to the Council customer service team.

Related Links

Thames Coromandel District Council Mercury Bay Service Centre in Whitianga

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