Always use a twist or trigger nozzle when using your hose.
Use a timer with your sprinkler or irrigation system and be mindful where you position it so that you are watering plants, not paved areas.
Use a cover on permanent and portable pools to prevent evaporation and use appropriate chemicals to keep the water fresh.
Use a broom and/or bucket to clean hard surfaces such as footpaths and driveways.
Wash your car/boat/caravan on an area of lawn where possible.
Shorten your shower. Visit your council reception & ask for your free shower timer to make this easier.*
Check out our smart water play ideas to keep your kids cool and your water use low. If your children like to play under the sprinkler, or they have toys that attach to the hose, they can use these to keep cool. Use a timer and don’t forget to turn the water off at the end.
Use water from your rainwater tank or grey water wherever possible.
Check out our water saving tips for more ideas on how to be smart with water.
At Alert Levels 1 and 2, water restrictions apply to businesses who don't use water as an essential activity. For example, if you wish to water a shrub or garden outside your premises, you can only use a sprinkler during the restricted times.
If your business uses water as an essential activity such as landscaping, sports fields or nurseries, outdoor watering is allowed. However, we ask that you practice efficient watering methods whenever possible.
*Hamilton City Council and Waipā District Council and Waitomo District Council areas only.
If you notice someone not being smart with water, let us know!
And keep up to date with water alert changes
We are privileged to have water on tap 24 hours a day but it is not a finite resource and we can't take it for granted. Even in New Zealand we can run short of water at times due to rising population, changes in climate patterns or other factors that put pressure on supply.
Water is the life giver of all things – ko to wai ora ngā mea katoa. By using water carefully, we are protecting the health and well-being of our waterways. We are also ensuring that water is not wasted and there will be enough to go around when rain is scarce.
Water infrastructure, including treatment plants and pipes, is expensive. Reducing the amount of water that we use reduces the pressure on our existing infrastructure and can prevent or delay increased investment in new infrastructure. Using less water also reduces the amount of energy needed to provide clean safe water and to treat waste water.
Councils are obliged to provide the infrastructure necessary to supply and treat water to national standards as well as provide enough water for fire-fighting.
Requiring new builds to have a rain water tank would help reduce reliance on municipal water supplies for outdoor watering, but those households would still need to be given a guaranteed town water supply. Unfortunately, the times when people need water the most, are usually the times when there is less rainfall so rain water tanks cannot be relied upon.
Installing a rain water tank may become a requirement in the future as councils seek ways to manage and mitigate extreme weather events, storm water run-off, increase household emergency resilience and encourage people to value water.
There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration to determine when Water Alert Levels are needed including current water use & comparison to historical trends; long term weather forecasts and recent rainfall data, Lake Taupō level (which influences the level in the Waikato River), stream levels; operational status of the water supply (faults, maintenance, processing ability) and changes to the quality of the water source (contamination or algal bloom which can effect processing rates). Councils (along with other river & stream users) have an obligation to ensure that any water taken is used responsibly and wisely. The Water Alert Level system is one tool to assist in achieving this.
The Water Alert Levels are a system of escalating water conservation measures with a focus on outdoor water use. In summer, a large proportion of water is used to water gardens and lawns, fill swimming pools, clean houses and vehicles etc. The Water Alert Levels particularly at Alert Level 1 and 2 do not prevent these activities but help the community to be mindful of how water is being used and provide guidance on using water in a sustainable way.
Millions of litres of water are extracted every day from our river for us to use. It is our collective responsibility to ensure we look after our life-giving water. We must all protect and guard it and use it when we need to but never waste it.
One cubic metre of water is the same as 1,000 litres of water.
One megalitre of water is the same as 1,000,000 litres of water.