By Shannon Ballantyne
On the heels of a water crisis in Auckland, some students say they are surprised the university isn’t encouraging them to join in on region-wide efforts to conserve water.
Earlier this month, the Ardmore Water Treatment Plant in the Hunua Ranges was contaminated with silt, after dam water flowed into the plant following wild storms which battered the region.
This has limited the supply of ‘healthy’ water and all Aucklanders are now being asked to minimise their water consumption by 20 litres per day or face the threat of boiling all water before consumption.
Second year business student, Jessica Black, says she is surprised by the university’s lack of endorsement for efforts to conserve water.
She says she believes it is a good opportunity for the university to minimise water consumption on campus.
“I feel like a vast majority of students weren’t aware that there was water ban in place, but it’s definitely something that should have been communicated to students,” she says.
“If we were told more openly that we needed to conserve water it would have contributed to Auckland’s overall water consumption and maybe it would have been a lot lower.”
John Sutherland, who is studying towards a Master of Resource and Environmental Planning, says the water ban is something of a wakeup call, not just for students, but all Aucklanders as well.
“I would say that it’s a good opportunity for students and everybody else to have a rethink on their current day-to-day activities when it comes to water preservation, whether it is shorter showers or holding back on doing the washing.
“[It’s then about] potentially utilising these changes once the shortage has been lifted.”
Watercare says the water ban only needed to be in place until the end of March but Sutherland believes we should choose to save water – not just in emergencies – but in everyday life.
“For flatties it’s also a good thing to talk about how to work together to do their bit within their household [when it comes to saving water].
“It’s also good for their power and water bills if they’re short on money”
How to save water:
Cut your shower time by two minutes
Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth
Only run your washing machine when it’s full
Use the half flush on your toilet