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3 days water left in Gisborne if use doesn't reduce

8 Jan 2014

3 days water left in Gisborne if use doesn't reduce

Gisborne has only 3 days water supply left if residents don’t reduce their use of water. Council needs every business, every organisation and every resident to reduce their use of water by at least a third, says deputy chief executive Peter Higgs.

“Water consumption reduced marginally yesterday but nowhere near enough. Gisborne does not have enough water to meet the current demand. On Sunday and Monday we used 23,000 m3/day. This must reduce to 14,000 m3/day to avoid turning the taps off.”

“Luckily Gisborne has a standby treatment plant at Waipaoa that is supplying water to the city. This is being topped up by water from the Te Arai stream that is feeding through the Waingake Treatment plant. Together they are providing a small supply of water. With careful use this should ensure the city has enough water for essential use only.”

“If demand for water is not drastically reduced we will have to have periods of time where we have rolling water stoppages – times when you will turn on the tap and there will be no water. Council will not allow the city to completely run dry.”

Council has put a number of things in place to reduce water consumption.

There is a complete ban on the use of hoses - no washing your car, watering your lawn and garden or filling swimming pools etc. People really should just be using water to drink and for hygiene reasons. If you see your neighbours or anyone else wasting water please let Council know.

There is now a total fire ban in place in Gisborne city.  No fires of any description should be lit and no permits will be issued.  The only exemption is gas bbqs and cookers. “With the supply of water so limited it is a risk we cannot afford to take, says Mr Higgs. “Any fire outside of the city must have a permit.”

“Water crisis response manager Dave Hadfield is in contact with the city’s top 20 industrial water users. All have water shortage contingency plans which they are being asked to action immediately. By doing this now it is hoped there will be minimal disruption to industry as many enter their busy processing season.”

Gisborne is running out of water because its main water supply has been damaged by a land slide. The main water pipe from the Mangapoike Dam into the Council's water treatment plant was knocked out on Monday at 3am.

“The break is in the pipeline from the dam into our water treatment plant. The water in your tap has still been treated, there's no need to boil it. Engineers and geotechnical experts have a plan to fix the pipe and get the water flowing again. This will take 8-10 days.”

Only use water to:

  • drink
  • wash dishes by hand
  • have a quick shower
  • avoid washing clothes or use economy wash
  • flush the toilet only when necessary