Let’s talk about water.
There is no mains water supply on Aotea/Great Barrier Island. We rely on water collected from rainfall on the roofs of our buildings or from bores, creeks and springs high up in the hills. This precious water is then stored in water tanks.
All visitors must actively help us to conserve water. If something as simple as a tap is left running, water tanks will run dry and with very little rain through the summer months, it is unlikely that they will fill up again. This may seem like an inconvenience, but when you arrive on your holiday here you’ll soon realise that it’s all part of the adventure. Visitors often tell us that getting use to life without all the modern and unlimited conveniences is a humbling part of visiting Aotea, and for many, it’s even the very reason they come!
Last year summer 2019/20 was incredibly dry. Northland saw the most severe droughts on record for the region, including on Aotea/Great Barrier Island. This summer is already dry and water tanks are low.
Conserving this precious and scarce resource. What can you do as a visitor?
Here’s 8 ways you can stop being a water waster!
- Save up your washing up and put the plug in when washing up
- Take short showers – or soak in the sea, natural hot springs or small waterfalls throughout the island.
- Collect water from your shower, washing up or anything else you are doing. If the property you are staying in has a vegetable garden help the owners by watering the plants.
- If your accommodation has a bath and shower. Opt for a shower. If you must use the bath, ensure you use the water to put on the garden.
- Ensure taps are completely turned off and not dripping. A dripping tap can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day.
- There’s also that saying, ‘if its yellow let it mellow…’ and so on. Basically, only flush the toilet when you need to.
- If your accommodation has a washing machine, check with the owners if you can use it and use sparingly.
- Don’t expect your rental car to be all glistening and shiny, water conservation means not all our car rental businesses have the luxury of washing their cars between hires!
Is there safe drinking water on the island?
Places to eat around the island can provide you with drinking water . The airport in Claris will soon have a drinking water station that will be available for people to fill up their water bottles. The station will be COVID compliant.
Most accommodations have safe drinking water and will let you know if you need to boil the water before hand. Please bring your refillable water bottle with you so you can fill up at your accommodation before heading out on your adventures around the island.
The council service centre in Claris has UV treated potable water. You can fill up up to 20l tanks of water using this service.
The department of conservation campgrounds and huts have running water but this must be boiled before drinking.
Bottled and boxed water is also available from all of the local stores – Stonewall Store, Claris Store, Mulberry Grove Store and Port FitzRoy store. Please make sure you take the bottles with you or recycle them properly.