Pool sales up 84pc amid dry spell

The Dominion Post - - Business - RACHEL CLAY­TON

New Zealan­ders are splash­ing out on pools amid one of the dri­est starts to sum­mer on record.

Since late Novem­ber the num­ber of pool sales on Trade Me has in­creased 84 per cent to more than 200 a day.

There were more than 25,250 searches for swim­ming pools on the auc­tion site be­tween Mon­day and Tues­day, de­spite wa­ter re­stric­tions be­ing in place in many parts of the coun­try.

But city coun­cils are warn­ing that fill­ing swim­ming pools will worsen the wa­ter cri­sis.

Ev­ery re­gion in New Zealand is fac­ing some sort of wa­ter re­stric­tion, with some such as Southland fac­ing the dri­est start to sum­mer since 1990.

Welling­ton is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing drought-like con­di­tions and is un­der a sprin­kler-use ban.

But us­age con­tin­ues to out­strip sup­ply, caus­ing util­ity com­pany Welling­ton Wa­ter to draw in­creas­ingly from emer­gency sup­ply lakes at Te Marua in Up­per Hutt. The lakes usu­ally re­main un­tapped un­til late Jan­uary.

A Welling­ton Wa­ter spokesman said: ‘‘Now is not the time to fill up pools, when other peo­ple are do­ing their best to save wa­ter.

‘‘All unattended wa­ter­ing is banned, so you would have to stand there the whole time your pool is fill­ing. But re­ally it’s just wrong. We’d like peo­ple to save wa­ter, not bend rules.’’

Welling­ton City Coun­cil spokesman Richard Mc­Clean said if peo­ple con­tinue to fill their pools the coun­cil may have to ban it.

Last week, Napier res­i­dents were told the city could run out of wa­ter if peo­ple didn’t con­serve it.

Napier City Coun­cil in­fra­struc­ture man­ager John Kings­ford said reser­voir lev­els were the low­est they had been in re­cent years.

Taupo and Tau­ranga res­i­dents had bought the most swim­ming pools since Satur­day, fol­lowed by North­land, Hawkes Bay and Welling­ton.

Res­i­den­tial pools deeper than 40 cen­time­tres must have a 1.2-me­tre fixed child­proof fence with a self­clos­ing gate open­ing out­wards.

PHOTO: ANDY JACK­SON/STUFF

Hot weather has sent pool sales soar­ing on Trade Me, de­spite wa­ter re­stric­tions be­ing in place in many parts of the coun­try.

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