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Christchurch City Council Media Release 9 November 1999

Water Conservation and Protection

Background and Messages for the summer season 99-2000

Christchurch water is one of the best in the world.

It is natural, untreated and does not have chlorine added.

It comes from underground aquifers.

In some parts of the City (e.g. the Botanic Gardens) the water flows out of the ground under artesian pressure forming springs.

Christchurch is fortunate to have such a high quality natural resource.

The Water Services Unit is committed to the sustainable use of our water resource. We want to ensure that today's quantity and quality is protected so that our future generations can enjoy the same high standard of water.

The Importance of Water to the local economy.

Our reputation as the garden city and more recently, as a world leader in the enhancement and protection of our waterways and wetlands, is dependent on the availability and quality of our water resource.

Local residents and large numbers of tourists enjoy the green, natural, healthy image of the City and its environs.

The Waterways and Wetlands team are creating areas of native plantings on the water edges that provide habitats for our native birds, insects and animals to flourish. The preservation and development of our wetlands is supporting the biodiversity of Canterbury's native flora and fauna.

Our food exporting industries, which rely on a high grade water supply, provide significant economic support to the region and also to the country.

Have we got enough water?

It has been shown that climate has a large impact on the groundwater system.

The City's stream flow depends on a good supply of water feeding into the aquifers from the Waimakariri River and from rainfall. Dry summers affect the flow of streams such as the Avon, Heathcote and Styx.

During times of dry and hot weather, extra demands are placed on the City's pumping stations to supply water to residents. This extra demand often comes from an increase in the use of water for gardens. Occasionally, under these conditions, the peak demands are very high causing a drop in water pressure and subsequently, availability to the user.

The water levels can drop in the wells, letting in contaminants from the surface or sand. This degrades the quality of the water.

While we won't run out of water today, we need to consider the effects of its use with the future in mind.

For these reasons, a responsible attitude makes good environmental sense.

Sometime in the future we may be forced to limit our water use. If we conserve it now we will be extending the life of the resource and with careful management may reach a stage where our use is in balance with its supply - a state of sustainability!

RMA and the water resource.

The RMA deals with the use of natural resources. It is concerned with controlling the use of these resources so that they are sustainably managed and there are no, or minimal effects on the environment.

Water and price

The Christchurch City Council supplies water very efficiently. Compared with other water providers throughout the country, we supply at low cost but high quality. (On average, 28cents per 1000 litres). For the price of one glass of NZ bottled water, we can supply 10,752 glasses of water direct to your tap. New Zealand Food Regulations allow this water to be classified as 'mineral' water.

Tag lines (for water conservation) 1999

Christchurch water - too precious to waste.

The people, plants and animals of Christchurch thank you for saving our water.

Further more detailed and technical information is available.

Initial contact: Jill Leith, Customer Services, Water Services. Ph: 9418 323. Fax: 9418 385

  Water Services 1999


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