Buller District Council

Media Release – Water Restrictions Easing for Westport & Carters Beach

4th October, 2017

Council will be easing water restrictions on the Westport & Carters Beach supply as the reservoir capacity has recovered in recent weeks.

Effective tomorrow, all businesses, education, health care and essential services will be downgraded from Essential Use to Restricted Use.

This allows limited consumption of potable water for operational and maintenance activities as required for priority service levels.

Group Manager, Mike Duff says, “The recent Essential Use status was a necessary control measure to avoid a no-water event. But now that we have stabilised reserves and built more resilience into the supply, some relief can be provided.”

“The impact of water restrictions is huge and puts many sectors of our community under stress. This message has come through loud and clear, especially from business owners and service providers.” says Mr Duff.

The proposal to ease restrictions was reviewed by the Westport Water Supply governance team including senior representatives from the Ministry of Health, CDEM, WCRC and Council.

Approval of the transition plan was contingent on scheduled maintenance to the Water Treatment Plant filtration system being successfully achieved. The work is now complete thanks to the efforts of Three Waters staff and WestReef, who finished the task ahead of time and without incident.

Should the first stage of the transition plan prove sustainable, the easing from Essential Use to Restricted will be extended to include residential properties.

“Our immediate goal is a responsible move towards conservation status for all consumers. This will be mindful of good-practice water saving tips and the risk reduction strategies required for our current supply.”

“The sooner we can get back to a more business-as-usual water situation, the better.” says Mr Duff.

Council will monitor and report reservoir capacity on a daily basis and use this information to forecast trends in relation to potential status changes.

Water Restriction Transition Plan

The Transition Plan (staged downgrading from current Essential Use) is as follows:

  • Effective Thursday 5th October 2017, the water use status will be downgraded from Essential Use to Restricted only for the following:
    • Education, Health Care, Essential Services, Businesses & Commercial
  • If capacity remains above 75% for 7 consecutive days, residential status will also be downgraded from Essential Use to Restricted Use
  • If capacity remains above 75% for 14 consecutive days once all consumers are at Restricted Use, then status will be downgraded to Conservation.
  • If capacity drops below 50% at any time, Essential Use will be reinstated for all consumers.

Water Restriction Definitions


  • Water use for drinking, food preparation, hygiene and sanitary purposes only.
  • A complete ban on any outdoor water use.


  • Limited use of water for operational and maintenance priorities as required for business sustainability.
  • Limited residential outdoor use with hand-held buckets, watering cans, water blasters and low flow devices/attachments.
  • No high-use consumption/filling activities or general hard-surface hosing is permitted.


  • Considerate use of water for all activities, following Council’s water saving tips (available on our website, click here).
  • Conservation replaces ‘normal use’ for our current system.

Council wishes to thank consumers on the Westport and Carters Beach Water Supply for their ongoing patience and co-operation.


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