Warm weather and increasing water demand has prompted Hamilton City Council to further conserve water by moving to Alert Level 2.
The change to Alert Level 2 means sprinklers and watering systems can now only be used on alternate days, i.e. even street numbers on even days and odd street numbers on odd days, between 6am and 8am, and 6pm and 8pm.
Hamilton City Council's City Waters Manager Maire Porter says the recent hot weather and higher-than-normal water usage for this time of year has triggered the council to move to Alert Level 2.
"With the warm dry weather expected to continue we need to ensure we don't use more water than we need. Wednesday's water use was the highest we have ever experienced in the month of December, so we need everyone to do their bit to conserve water," says Mrs Porter.
"There are lots of ways to conserve water, for example watering the garden by hand, or washing your car on a piece of lawn that needs watering, or taking shorter showers – if everyone in the city spent 30 seconds less in the shower that would save more than a million litres a day.
"We need people to take the water conservation message on board. Otherwise if this level of demand continues, a move to Water Alert level 3 will be needed, which means no sprinklers at all."
At this stage, the Waipa and Waikato districts will be remaining at Water Alert Level 1 but are closely monitoring their water use. Water concerns for Hamilton can be reported at smartwater.org.nz/water-concern-form.
The Smart Water site has an e-newsletter to let you know when your alert level changes, as well as a week-by-week water use graph and other water-saving tips. Sign up at smartwater.org.nz/subscribe.
Waipa District Council water services manager Tony Hale said it was unusual to see water usage peak so early in the season.
"We have been monitoring the district's water usage closely over the past few weeks and have seen a significant increase in usage as the sun has come out. In the past two weeks Waipa's water use has increased from 187 to 203 million litres, up 14 million litres from the same time last year.
"While it is tempting to turn on the sprinklers and rush to fill up our pools, it's essential we all play our part now so we will all be better off in the long run."