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Published: 2008-12-01 00:00:00

Last summer’s drought was a strong reminder to the Waikato community that we can’t take the region’s freshwater resources for granted.

So, with summer officially kicking off on December 1, Environment Waikato and 10 other councils around the region have teamed up to launch a new Smart Water Use campaign.

“All councils have an important role to play in encouraging ratepayers and residents to use water wisely,” Environment Waikato chairman Peter Buckley said.

Hamilton City Council and the Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Waikato, Matamata-Piako, Waipa, South Waikato, Taupo, Waitomo, and Otorohanga district councils are taking part.

Cr Buckley said every litre saved cut down water treatment costs and reduced the amount of chemicals entering the environment.

“There are lots of simple things people can do at home that will make a big difference to their water consumption and their wallets,” he said.

“For example fixing that dripping hot-water tap and you’ll save yourself $50-$60 a year.  Or reduce your daily shower from eight to four minutes and you’ll shave at least $80 a year off your household power bill for every person showering – that means a household of four could save more than $300 a year.

“This is something particularly useful to bear in mind for those holidaying at beach baches this summer in areas where water resources are already stretched.”

The Smart Water Use campaign will offer Waikato people water-saving tips, tools and discount vouchers through interactive websites and council publications.

An online calculator will help people estimate water use in their homes and there will be a simple tool to help residents identify where they can install simple, inexpensive water-saving devices on taps, toilets and showers to save water, power and money.

There are plans to offer Smart Water Use in the Garden workshops at participating garden centres around the region from late January.

The Smart Water Use campaign will run through to autumn.  For more information please visit www.smartwateruse.co.nz.