Tauranga’s seven day average water use sits at around 43.7 million litres per day. In previous summers that number has climbed to 58 million.
After three dry summers in a row, the streams that supply the city with water are at the lowest levels seen going into summer, which means anything higher than 50 million litres per day is unsustainable this summer, says Tauranga City Council.
The council website provides a number of tips on how to save water at home.
In the kitchen, fix any leaking taps, pipes or cisterns. A leaky tap could drop up to three litres of water per day. Put a jug of water in your fridge for instant cold water, make sure the dishwasher is full before you use it, and scrape dirty dishes rather than rinsing. Modern dishwashers can take it.
Put the plug into the sink to wash dishes or scrub vegetables. Don’t leave the water running; taps use up to six litres of water per minute and you could save around 20 litres of water.
In the bathroom, turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth. This can save up to five litres of water. Take shorter showers. A shower uses 10-12 litres of water per minute, so cutting your shower by just one minute saves more than you’d expect.
Collect water from your shower for watering your garden – this could be around 20 litres for your garden. Use the short toilet flush when you can - this uses about half the water of a full flush. The average flush uses between 6 and 32 litres of water, so using a half flush can help a lot.
Outside, install covers on pools and spas to reduce water evaporation. Using a bucket to wash your car rather than a hose can save up to 100 litres of water. Wash your car on the grass, and use a broom, not a hose, to clean paths.
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