Water crisis: Tanks run dry in east Auckland

Tank water owners are under the pump as the ongoing drought has seen many run dry.

The warm, dry conditions to start the year have placed considerable strain on people operating off tank water in eastern areas.

Wait times for delivery of water via various providers are spiralling out to as much as six weeks, with supply companies struggling to meet demand.

Local Beachlands resident Heather (who asked not use her surname) says her twin 13,000-litre tanks are “just below half” and is being parsimonious with her usage whilst trying to find out wait times for water delivery from various tanker operators. She has noticed “a definite increase in water tankers up and down my road” over the past few weeks.

Auckland Council has recognised that for many in the east, water is not a given as it is for those ratepayers on mains.

Not cool: Hot start to year runs down water supplies. Turn off your sprinklers to save water. Photo file

“While it is the responsibility of property owners to ensure their private rainwater tanks have sufficient water levels to meet their needs, we are aware long waits for tankers is causing concern for some rural communities, said Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore.

“Council recognises those concerns and together with Watercare, is able to provide an interim solution for a portable water supply to households in those areas running out of tank water.”

Auckland Council is opening selected community venues in affected areas to residents to fill a container of drinking water; there is a limit of 20 litres per person per day for essential domestic use to help get through until water deliveries can be made. Residents will need to provide their own containers.

Beachlands’ Te Puru Community Centre on Saturday provided toilets, showers & outside taps, as part of the program initiated by Watercare. The <ITALICS> Times has approached Auckland Council for clarification whether the program is ongoing.

Auckland Council’s Head of Water Strategy Andrew Chin is encouraging residents to keep an eye on their rainwater tanks and plan ahead.

“We know the summers are getting warmer for longer. Rural dwellers need to be aware and place orders early rather than waiting until their situation is critical and putting tanker deliveries under pressure.”

Local Beachlands business Orange Sky (OS) is providing free showers via a mobile van this coming Thursday the 13th, after teaming up with Kiwi laundry on Wakelin Road.

The Times contacted four water suppliers and had not heard back by deadline.

Ways to save water:

Take quicker showers or go swimming. If you belong to a gym, use the facilities there

If it’s Yellow let it mellow

If you need to wash your car or boat, use a bucket of water instead of the hose

Water your garden at night to avoid evaporation. Try and use grey water (from bathroom, laundry, dishes etc)