Looking around the streets, lawns and verges are already pretty brown. But you can carry on watering, says the council.
A statement on the KCDC website says: “Water meters in conjunction with the new River Recharge scheme has meant the Council has secured more than enough water to manage even the worst drought conditions. Water consumption across the Kāpiti Coast District has reduced more than 26% since water meters were introduced in July 2014. People are now more aware of their water consumption and as a result there’s plenty of water to go around.”
Well, that is rather fudging the situation. All the new bore fields added have increased what is obtainable from the aquifers under the town. But it may not be particularly palatable water, based on the historic complaints about it. The Rowan council decided to install the River Recharge (see earlier post) so that it could take more water from the Waikanae River at the water treatment plant and replace it with the old bore water so the river level wouldn’t fall below that point.
If the dry spell continues, however, our hunch is that the council is going to have to supplement the river water with bore water.
The reduction in consumption mentioned has been a result of detecting and fixing leaks. We know this because we and our immediate neighbour had to replace our common water pipe from the council meter on the street to where the pipe splits to serve each property.
We wouldn’t have known that if we hadn’t discovered our water volumes consumed and charged for inexplicably increasing over 3 successive quarters. Our plumber investigated and found that there was a leak in that pipe (made of the notorious Black Dux polybutylene). It was leaking at the rate of about 1 litre a minute. We replaced the whole pipe at a cost of about $2,500.
The council is probably happy for people keep using lots of water, as it collects revenue from it that it didn’t in the past.