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Water shortage critical in Auckland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/03/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">Auckland's water supplier has called on residents to make further cuts to their consumption as city faces major water shortage.</span> © Corbis images Auckland's water supplier has called on residents to make further cuts to their consumption as city faces major water shortage. While residents have responded to Auckland's worst water shortage in decades by reducing their consumption, they still need to do more, the city's supplier says.

Watercare wants people to cut their consumption by 20 litres per day, or about two bucketfuls, for the rest of March.

It said Auckland residents used 415 million litres of water in the past 24 hours but that consumption needed to drop below 400 million litres of water per day to meet its Save 20 target.

"Our Save 20 target is easily achievable," Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram says.

"To put it in perspective, it's only a few minutes less in the shower and turning off the tap when brushing teeth."

The call comes after this week's "off-the-chart" rainfall washed vast amounts of debris into Auckland's largest water treatment plant.

"Ardmore Water Treatment Plant, which supplies up to two thirds of the Auckland region's water, is continuing to operate at half its capacity due to an unprecedented level of silt in the water coming from the Hunua dams," Mr Jaduram said.

"We are maximising production at our four other metropolitan plants which include those in Waikato and Huia.

"Currently we are meeting demand ... [and the water is] safe to drink straight from the tap.

"But if we can't achieve the targeted water usage savings, we may be forced to release partially treated water into the region's supply. In such a situation, a boil water notice would be issued."

Mr Jaduram said the situation remained critical after about 100mm of rain fell in the Hunua Ranges and Waitakere Ranges, where nine of Watercare's water storage dams are located.

"The clarity of the water entering the Ardmore Water Treatment Plant is still about 100 times worse than what we would expect to see entering the plant," he said.

Residents called on to reduce their water consumption included those from Papkura and Pukekohe in the south to Titirangi in the west and Orewa in the north.

TIPS TO SAVE WATER:

* Cut your shower time by two minutes to save round 16L

* Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth to save round 4L

* Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when full

* Use the half-flush on your toilet.

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