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Sprinkler restrictions now in place

After a spate of warm weather, Hamilton, Waikato and Waipa are now all on Water Alert Level 1.

The move to Water Alert Level 1 was triggered by a significant increase in water consumption across the region.

Water Alert Level 1 means using a sprinkler between 6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm or hand-held hosing at any time.

Over the last two weeks Hamilton’s water consumption has increased by 20 per cent, Waikato saw an increase of 6 million litres of water and Waipa’s water use increased from 173 to 190 million litres.

Smart Water Co-ordinator Sally Fraser said recent summery weather has caused a noticeable jump in water use. “In the summer we see outdoor water use increase from 7 per cent to 20 per cent. The warm weather means pools are being filled and sprinklers are turned on.”

Sally also added how much water we have relies on it raining in the right place, “we can’t control the rain but what we can control is how much water we all use.  Making small changes to your water use will make a difference.  Having a shorter shower, mulching your vege patch and garden beds and making the most of water that would normally go down the drain to feed your plants, it all adds up.”

Sally said a lot of people comment on how full the river is and they can see a lot of water, “the river may look very full but if there’s no rain it doesn’t stay full for long. We also can’t take all of the water from the river - we’re consented to how much water we’re allowed to take.” 

Smart Water has an e-newsletter to let you know when your alert level changes, it also has a week-by-week water use graph and other water saving tips. Sign up to receive it at

The Smart Water Starts with You! sub-regional summer campaign aims to make long-term change to how we use water and is a joint venture between Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council.