Water isn’t as free and abundant as you might think We’re surrounded by water on the Coromandel. It’s easy to think of it as a free resource that will never run out. But the population in some of our communities multiplies 10-fold in summer and if we are smart about our water use we can delay costly new infrastructure. There are other good reasons to be smart about your water use. Read on to find out more. Top 5 smart water conservation tips Wait until you can do full loads before you wash dishes or use the washing machine. Don’t run the water when brushing your teeth. For cool drinking water, fill a jug and keep it in the fridge. Running water to cool it down can waste 10 litres a minute. For lawns, apply the ‘step test’ – if grass springs back after you walk on it, it doesn’t need watering. If your toilet has a dual flush button, use the half flush. What happens if too much water is taken from rivers and streams? Water levels and flow patterns – like riffles and pools – will change and alter the condition for life there. In extreme conditions, small watercourses could run dry. The temperature of water is likely to rise and harm fish, plants and other aquatic life. Possible higher concentrations of pollutants like silt and nutrients will cause algae to grow. Using less will help with water quality in our waterways The water we return to rivers is highly treated but water from a number of other sources remains a problem. These include run-off in urban areas (oil on roads, for example) and from rural and forestry land. Maintaining high water levels and volumes helps dilute the contaminant load entering water bodies and assists in maintaining water quality. About Water Restrictions Water status update reports are broadcast daily on local radio stations or find full details of water restrictions on our water restriction status page. The daily amount of water we take is governed by Regional Council consents - in Whangamata alone we have six consents to monitor each day. Each consent makes sure the downstream effects do not damage the environment. Easy ways to save water, power and money Single-flush toilets and some taps and showers can use a lot of water. Luckily, there are inexpensive, easy-to-install devices available from retailers, that will cut waste to a minimum. Our SmartWaterUse Check Up form helps you find out if you can save water, and power and money whenever hot water is used. The form includes a simple, three-step process to check taps, toilets and shower. It takes only a few minutes and can be downloaded from the right of this page - or call us and we’ll post you a copy. We hope you’ll give it a go – for smart water use.