Mayors to make jump for savings
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.