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Auckland's water shortage so bad it starts shifting homes

Newshub logoNewshub 4 days ago Kethaki Masilamani
a house with trees in the background: Less groundwater is drying out the clay soil some houses are built on and causing problems. © Newshub Less groundwater is drying out the clay soil some houses are built on and causing problems.

It might not feel like it, but a particularly dry winter is not only affecting Auckland's dam levels -  it's affecting homes. A lack of groundwater has been shifting houses built on clay soil.

Auckland's water shortage so bad it starts shifting homes
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Evan Bradshaw's customers have been facing an unusual problem.

"People's doors jam or they're having trouble opening or quite often they'll close their door and it doesn't click shut," he says.

Auckland's lack of rainfall has meant less groundwater, drying out the clay soil some Auckland houses are built on. And now these houses are moving.

"When you look at the top of the door, you'll see the gap between the door and the frame, it should be even all the way along. If it's tapered that means you've got movement," Bradshaw says.

The drought has been particularly tough on older homes like bungalows and villas.

"A lot of the homes that are on piles, those older homes, they have a tendency to move more," Bradshaw says.

When Sam Fu-Allen opens his bedroom door he puts his back into it.

"They stiffen up a lot when its hot weather, to the point sometimes we have to shoulder barge them open," he says.

Dry conditions have meant Fu-Allen and his flatmates have had to get creative.

"To solve our front door rattling in the wind we've used medical strapping tape to narrow the opening to hold it in tighter," Fu-Allen says.

The strapping tape will have to do while Auckland's drought continues.

Recent rainfall has filled our dams up to the 60 percent mark. But that's still well short of how full they usually are at this time of year.

So until there's more rain a league tackle will have to do.

"Trying not to damage the door while pushing it open but still want to get into my bedroom every now and again y'know," Fu-Allen says.

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