District councils launch SMART Watering campaign ahead of hot, dry Canterbury summer

25/11/2015 12:00 a.m.

Home gardeners, lifestyle irrigators, small businesses, sports grounds and schools will be the target of a new water-saving campaign by IrrigationNZ, local bodies and industry partners.

The SMART Watering campaign teaches home gardeners and community irrigation projects how to apply water efficiently. Its wider roll-out follows on from the successful SMART Irrigation programme which encourages sustainably managed, accountable, responsible and trusted irrigation practice.

Timaru, Ashburton, Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils, Environment Canterbury (ECan) and industry partners Water Supply Products and RX Plastics, have joined forces with IrrigationNZ to help home gardeners and community irrigation projects find ways to make the best use of their water during what is predicted to be another hot, dry summer.

In Ashburton District, due to the warmer, drier conditions expecting to continue, level one water restrictions (alternate hosing days) have active in  Chertsey, Fairton, Hakatere, Hinds, Mayfield, Methven, Mt Somers, and Rakaia. Hosing is not permitted at any time on the Dromore, Methven/Springfield and Montalto water supplies. These water conservation measures will be in place until further notice.

Ashburton District Council is encouraging residents to check its website for detailed information about activities that are permitted under the level one water restriction and to access water saving tips.

"Over the last year we have been educating farmers on how to save water with our SMART Irrigation programme," says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO.

"There are a lot of parallels between home gardeners and farmers. Both need to know how much water their plants and crops require, have efficient systems for application and be monitoring soil moisture levels.  The irrigation industry has proven products, technologies and practices that can eke out water supply. We are sharing this knowledge so we can all play our part in conserving supplies this summer," says Mr Curtis.

As part of the campaign, factsheets with tips on SMART Watering are available on the Facebook page and website.

Simple things like choosing early mornings or evenings to water your plants, setting a timer on the veggie patch sprinkler, investigating rain tanks on the roof, or selecting less water-hungry plants are examples.

  • SMART stands for sustainably managed, accountable, responsible and trusted.
  • SMART Irrigation and SMART Watering practice rely on the same principles – checking that your system can apply water efficiently, that your use of water is justified and that you are monitoring and measuring as you go.
  • SMART Watering isn't difficult and will save you time and money in the long term.
  • SMART Watering is sustainable watering – be part of the solution to conserve supply.

"The east coast of the South Island has been classed a drought for at least another three months. The recent warning by Government on the importance of planning and preparing for very dry El Nino conditions highlights the need to take water efficiency seriously. All of this background makes SMART Watering a very timely campaign," says Mr Curtis.

Learn more about water conservation and SMART Watering

Page reviewed: 03 Dec 2015 2:29pm