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4 days ago

Shaping Our Future
A good read from Queenstown Lakes District Council This post dips into water consumption and why restrictions need to be put in place. We'll be deep diving in water discussions for this quarter. Keep tabs on our page because we'll be planning water focused forums that will need public input.In summer, demand for water soars and already this year we’ve had to introduce restrictions in Hāwea and Luggate. We often get asked, why restrict water use when there’s plenty of it? There are lakes and rivers everywhere, right?! Well yes there are and we’re lucky! But that doesn’t mean we can keep taking and taking for our own benefit.To provide this water to households, it’s pumped from lakes or bore supplies, treated and piped into reservoirs on a hill or other elevated site. From there the water is distributed via gravity through pipes to our homes and businesses. Water supply schemes are designed for a calculated demand for each household, commercial and industrial site. Pumps, pipes and reservoirs are built to service that calculated demand. If the demand exceeds the supply that is when our systems come under pressure. The major strain on water usage through the summer months is caused by many people irrigating their garden at the same time, especially during typical periods of high demand (first thing in the morning, and late afternoon/early evening). Other factors that create additional demand include pump failure, a pipe break, and private side leaks. But surely we can just increase the supply, right? Why restrict our water use when we pay for it through our rates? At peak times some of our supply schemes are operating at their maximum capacity, meaning we can’t fill our reservoirs fast enough. To ensure we have sufficient water reserves for public health and fire fighting requirements we need the community to use water responsibly. In our district water use per person is already a lot higher than the national average and this increases dramatically over the peak summer months.While we do have water supply upgrade projects underway right across the district, it’s important to remember that these are mostly funded by ratepayers. We need to always consider the important questions of affordability, necessity and environmental responsibility. Conserving water starts with all of us using water wisely. There are many simple changes you can make to the way you use water to make sure there’s enough for everyone – for tips go to www.qldc.govt.nz/water-saving-tips. ... See MoreSee Less
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