Pool sales up 84pc amid dry spell
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.
Hot weather has sent pool sales soaring on Trade Me, despite water restrictions being in place in many parts of the country.