Denise inspires next generation of Wai Warriors

05 March 2020

For NPDC’s Denise Rowland, no age is too young to become a Wai Warrior.

As the Three Waters Education Officer, Denise goes out to schools and community events to teach kids about how everyone can do their bit to cut down on how much water we use.

To help her get the message across, she brings along a working model where kids can get hands-on and pump water from a treatment plant to a home and onto the sea.

“The kids absolutely love playing with the model. It’s great to easily explain where our water comes from, how it gets to our houses and then what happens to it when it goes down the plughole,” says Denise.

“We always need a new generation of Wai Warriors who understand why it’s so important to cut down how much water we use. By going into schools, we’re hopefully educating young people and inspiring them to be water wise.”

Water restrictions are brought in on 1 January each year and run until 31 March and are brought in for the dryer summer months when people generally use more water for things like watering the garden, but the rivers which supply the water are at their lowest. Lake Mangamahoe, the District’s main water storage, holds about 10 days’ worth of water. 

NPDC’s Wai Warrior campaign has been running for three years and Denise says the District’s water usage is trending in the right direction, dropping from 309 litres per person per day in 2017/18 to 292 litres in 2018/19. 

“We’d like to get that down to 275 litres, which is the national average, but even that is well above many other countries. I’m hopeful that the kids are getting the message and passing on to their mums, dads and guardians that we can all cut down on how much we are using.”

Denise has so far taken her message to 12 schools and has reached more than 1000 people while at local events. A recent success was a collaboration with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery called H20 art where kids got to play with the model and draw on toilet paper while sat on a toilet seat!

“We know we’ve got a serious message but we try to make it fun so the kids learn how to be Wai Warriors,” added Denise.

If you would like Denise to bring along the Three Waters model to your school, email denise.rowland@npdc.govt.nz or call 06-759 6060.

Water saving tips:

  • Turn off your tap while brushing your teeth.
  • Put the plug in your sink while washing vegies.
  • Make sure washing machine or dishwasher is full before using it.

For more water saving tips, head here.

Denise Rowland