Gardeners’ tolerance drying up

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A Gore woman is upset by The Gore District Council’s lack of sympathy for someone who has difficulty complying with level 4 water restrictions because of a disability.

Pamela Cavanagh had requested a dispensation so she could use a hose to water her garden but she was declined.

The request was not the first of its kind the council had received.

Council 3 Waters asset manager Matt Bayliss said the local body had several requests for dispensations from the restrictions from residents.

Unfortunately it was impossible to grant a dispensation as it could set a precedent, Mr Bayliss said.

Ms Cavanagh of Gore, said she had health problems and could not carry a heavily laden watering can.

She approached Mr Bayliss to ask for an exception, as the plants in her garden were dying, but did not get the result she desired.

She was advised by Mr Bayliss to use water from her washing machine to water plants, Ms Cavanagh said.

Unhappy gardener . . .Pamela Cavanagh, of Gore, is concerned about the survivability of her garden since being turned down for a dispensation from the water restrictions. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

She explained she could not carry a heavy watering can because of her health problems so she was advised to use a saucepan.

She was told if she did not comply with the restrictions the water to her property could be restricted, she said.

“Yet they can still water their gardens,” Ms Cavanagh said.

Mrs Cavanagh was annoyed she had to comply with the restrictions, particularly in the light of the fact the council was still watering the public gardens with a sprinkler system.

Mrs Cavanagh said the town gardens were lovely but questioned the council’s reasoning.

“In times like this you should be leading by example,” she said.

Council parks and reserves manager Ian Soper said there were two classes of water users – residents and commercial.

The council was classed as a commercial user and that meant it could still use water for its operations.

Hanging baskets in Main St, the main Gore Gardens and the Main St plots were all watered during the night, in order to have the least evaporation. Not all the garden plots in the Gore gardens were watered and some plants were experiencing hardship due to the lack of water.

Rhododendrons and roses were among those starting to die back.

Mr Soper was aware of public perception of council water use and said it did not use water extravagantly.