The water restriction on residents connected to the Lake Hayes scheme has been revised to allow alternate day watering, Queenstown Lakes District Council utilities committee chairman John Mann said.
Since the start of December, Lake Hayes scheme households have been asked to restrict garden watering to hand-held hoses, only, between the hours of 5pm and 7am.
“We have been closely monitoring the supply and we would like to trial alternate day watering, as a solution to people struggling with established gardens and in particular trees,” Councillor Mann said.
The variation would allow irrigation via a single standard hose connection (half inch hose) to a portable sprinkler or equivalent domestic fixed irrigation system (single hose capacity only). The use of a commercial ‘k-line’ system or any other high capacity sprinkler was still not permitted.
The alternate day watering meant that properties with ‘even’ numbers (rapid for rural, street for urban) could water on ‘even’ days of the calendar month, ‘odd’ numbers on ‘odd’ calendar days, all still within the hours of 5pm and 7am.
“It’s just a matter of figuring out your day and adhering to the alternate day watering, at least this way everyone will get an opportunity to help established gardens and trees to survive the summer,” Councillor Mann said.
Any excessive one-off use of water, such as filling a large pool, would require managing by Lakes Engineering, QLDC acting water services manager John Porter said.
“There may be a time of day or a particular day where a one-off use is more easily borne by the system. We just need people with those requests to call the council main office and they will in turn contact our team and we will see what we can do,” Mr Porter said.
The council would be continuing the close monitoring of water use and compliance.
“It may require some friendly neighbourly advice in the first instance but if anyone has any concerns about ongoing non compliance then again please let us know at the council,” Mr Porter said.
Information brochures outlining the alternate day watering restriction would be delivered to non-complying households in the first instance but further non-compliance would be followed with a visit.
The trial would only work if there was good buy-in from everyone on the scheme, he said.
“Obviously we still need people on the Lake Hayes Scheme to continue to conserve water where possible. We still have a long hot summer before us and the scheme will cope if everyone contributes to water conservation,” Councillor Mann said.