May­ors to make jump for sav­ings

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS / OPINION -

The Welling­ton re­gion’s may­ors have promised to jump in the drink if res­i­dents can con­serve enough of the wet stuff this week.

Last Fri­day, World Water Day, three may­ors – in­clud­ing Porirua’s Nick Leggett – agreed to jump into Welling­ton Har­bour in a bid to en­sure water con­ser­va­tion re­mains at the front of peo­ple’s minds.

Mr Leggett, Welling­ton Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Up­per Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy will take the leap next Tues­day if the re­gion’s water con­sump­tion can be curbed to an av­er­age of 125 me­gal­itres (ML) a day over the course of this week.

Mr Leggett says res­i­dents’ ef­forts to con­serve water have been com­mend­able, but the re­gion is not out of the woods yet.

‘‘Over the last week or so, res­i­dents have really dug deep and achieved some great sav­ings . . . but it’s so im­por­tant we keep push­ing so that we don’t end up in the same po­si­tion again with the dry weather forecast over the next 10 days,’’ he said.

Although the heavy rain ex­pe­ri­enced over the week­end of March 16 and 17 was a god­send for farm­ers and gar­den­ers, there was very lit­tle rain forecast up un­til Easter and river lev­els were drop­ping back again.

The out­door water use ban re­mains in ef­fect. A two-week weather forecast is­sued by Greater Welling- ton Re­gional Coun­cil on Sun­day in­cluded the chance of sev­eral days of rain from March 30.

Av­er­age domestic water use in the re­gion is be­tween 200 and 225 litres a per­son each day, while Auck­land and a num­ber of other ma­jor NZ cities are re­port­edly us­ing 10 per cent or more be­low that.

The re­gional coun­cil has con­tin­gency plans for how to pro­vide more water for a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, if needed, but sig­nif­i­cant long-term water sav­ings could help to de­fer those projects – and the cost for ratepay­ers.

The es­ti­mated cost of sev­eral new water stor­age op­tions range from at least $30 mil­lion and could be more than $100 mil­lion.

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