Auckland Council

El Niño to blow hot and cold this summer.  What does it mean for Aucklanders?

It means we can expect stronger or more frequent winds from the west which will encourage dryness in eastern areas and more rain in the west with periods of unseasonable warmth followed by sharp cold southerlies.

While it’s looking like it’s going to be a hotter than normal summer and that’s great news for holidaymakers and beachgoers, it’s not so good for rural Aucklanders who don’t have access to mains water supply.

Auckland Council’s General Manager Healthy Waters Craig Mcilroy says if there were lessons to be learnt from the 2019-2020 drought, it’s the need for rural communities to be prepared.

“As the summer rolls around, it’s a timely reminder for rural residents to think about their water supplies.

“If you’re reliant on rainwater tanks for your drinking water, check the tank levels regularly, use water wisely and book a delivery early.

“Forward planning is key to avoiding the experience of 2019-20, so it’s important to keep your “eye on the ball” adds Mcilroy.

Facing the prospect of another dry summers Auckland Council has established 26 permanent community water sites around rural Auckland to help mitigate the situation and assist with future drought management should it arise.

The bollards will provide a back-up drinking water supply in an emergency where residents will be able to collect 20 litres of water per person per day for the filling of water bottles year-round.

Auckland Council has a network of 78 rain gauges across the region which are monitored for rainfall levels. Automatic alerts for low rainfall notify the operations team to set up the bollards for bottle filling with all the sites meeting current drinking water standards.

Find your closest community water bollard here:

Steps to take now before you run out of water:

  • check your water tank levels regularly
  • monitor your water usage and make lifestyle changes, such as shorter showers
  • consider the needs of livestock if they are using your rain tank supply
  • find out the local water supplier, in case you need a top-up over the holidays
  • plan and book water refill deliveries early
  • ensure tanks are well maintained and roof guttering is free of debris
  • install water-saving devices in showerheads and taps
  • consider investing in extra tank capacity.

El Niño is an oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon that marks the warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (approximately between the International Date Line and 120°W), including the area off the west coast of South America. The ENSO is the cycle of warm and cold sea surface temperature (SST) of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. (From Wikepedia.)

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