Sprinkler ban for Whangamata 16 December 2015 Summer water restrictions have begun The first summer water restriction has been issued, with Whangamata now on a sprinkler ban. Other towns, especially Tairua, are requested to start water conservation practices ahead of the peak season. Water supplies are being reviewed daily and updates are on the front page of our website as alerts. You can find water restriction alerts here. If last year was any indication... Last year, during the two-weeks starting Christmas Day, those in Whangamata consumed about 77-and-a-half million litres of water over two weeks. This year, lower ground water levels in the Coromandel and lower water flows than usual, mean that water restrictions have started earlier than usual this summer. The message for other towns such as Tairua, Pauanui, Onemana and Hahei is to use smart water conservation habits ahead of the peak season, especially with forecasts of a drier summer than last year. “The effects of the current El Nino means a drier than normal summer season is expected for the Coromandel Peninsula,” says Lisa Murray, MetService Meteorologist, “so it's wise to start conserving water now.” Last summer, Onemana used 25 per cent more water than in previous years, leading to an unusual hose and sprinkler ban over the peak period. Whitianga's over 60 million litres of water over two weeks ranked second to overall in the Coromandel's heaviest water use. Our Water Services Manager Ian Smith says this year, if required we will implement an intermediate restriction whereby alternate day watering will be allowed. "Properties with odd street numbered addresses will be able to use a hose on odd numbered days and properties with even street numbered addresses will be able to use hose on even numbered days. That way, at worst, you only need to wait a day to use the hose again, still being mindful of the need to conserve water." There is still the likelihood that total water restrictions may have to be implemented should predicted weather patterns eventuate. “Water conservation is always important," says Mr Smith, "but this summer could bring some special challenges. Everybody can make some small changes to their water usage in the next couple of weeks that can make a massive difference across the Coromandel." Last summer's figures Water consumption from 23 December 2014 to 6 January 2015: Whangamata 77,493,100 litres (up 12% on 2013-14)Whitianga 60,339,000 litres (down 7% on 2013-14)Pauanui 29,091,000 litres (up 13% on 2013-14)Matarangi 23,424,000 litres (down 2% on 2013-14)Tairua 22,268,000 litres (up 5% on 2013-14)Onemana 5,370,000 litres (up 25% on 2013-14)Hahei (TCDC Supply) 2,098,604 litres (up 18% on 2013-14) 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.