Press Release – Dunedin City Council
Please Be Prudent – Keep That Water Use Down!
Dunedin (Friday, 1 March 2013) – Residents are being asked to continue to hold off watering their lawns and gardens as Dunedin’s dry spell continues.
DCC Water Production Manager Gerard McCombie is pleased people have taken earlier messages on board and are reducing the amount of water they use outside. The city-wide water demand dropped by as much as 11% at times this week, following the call for restraint on outside water use.
However, dry conditions dominate and little rainfall is predicted over the next few days, which puts some pressure on Dunedin’s water supplies. Most of the city’s water comes from Deep Stream and the level has started to drop, which means the flow through the pipeline has started to drop.
The Deep Stream pipeline was out of action for just one day while a leak was located and repaired. It is now back in use and is supplying the Mount Grand Water Treatment Plant, which supplies the city’s water.
The Deep Creek pipeline was also shut down this week – from Tuesday to Thursday for essential maintenance. Mr McCombie says the contractor is making good progress, but a further three-four day shutdown will be needed from Tuesday 5 March so the Deep Creek intake upgrade can be completed. The DCC has notified property owners, who are mainly farmers, directly affected by next week’s shutdown.
The Silverstream is producing very little water, while the Waikouaiti River has held up quite well, but is dropping now. The Taieri bore system, which supplies the Southern Water Treatment Plant, is down to two thirds of its usual supply because of pump failure.
The DCC is taking its own advice and trying to cut back water use where possible. Mr McCombie says the Parks and Reserves Department has reminded contractors to limit water where possible when watering parks and grassed areas and to time watering for early in the morning or later in the day. DCC crews are also very busy dealing with broken and leaky pipes to limit water loss from the system.
Dunedin’s water supply is essentially a ‘run-of-river system’ with only modest storage elsewhere. The Mount Grand raw water reservoir near Brockville is about 94% full, or 348,000cu m, which would provide about 11.5 days’ supply at the recent level of demand.
Mr McCombie says there are too many factors at play to predict when, or if, formal water restrictions will be needed.