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The total ban on sprinkler use in Hamilton will continue indefinitely due to the persistent drought conditions in the city and surrounding region.
The ban has been subject to a formal assessment each fortnight for the last six weeks. Drought conditions have not eased in this time and subsequently the ban will continue beyond the earlier anticipated end date of March 31.
Works and Services general manager Chris Allen says that while the domestic sprinkler ban put in place in January resulted in an excellent response from residents, recent usage has started to creep up again.
“With the commencement of the autumn season there may be a sense that the water crisis is over. Unfortunately there is just as much need for water conservation now as there was in January due to fact that we have seen no significant rainfall in four months. The medium term forecast does not include sustained rainfall which is what the region desperately needs to return to normal conditions. “
Recent rainfall still only represents a fraction of what should be expected at this time of year. Rainfall from 1 December to date has been less than a third of the five year average.
The sprinkler ban will remain in place as long as the drought persists. A fortnightly review remains in place to monitor conditions. Council remains in close communication with Environment Waikato regarding drought management for the wider region.
The continuation of the sprinkler ban will be communicated via portable street signs, radio advertisements and public notices.