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Tasman water restrictions remain in place awaiting rain

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The current water restrictions will remain in place pending the forecasted heavy rain for later this week.

If the forecast 50-80 mm arrives for the Waimea Plains and surrounding areas on Thursday night to Friday morning we will review the level of restrictions, said Dennis Bush-King, convenor of the Tasman Dry Weather Task Force. "If however, it does not arrive in sufficient levels to surpass the current rationing trigger levels we will be looking to maintain the current restrictions.

"As well as the showers over the last week, that have provided temporary relief and allowed us to maintain the current Level 2 restrictions in most places, the annual holiday shutdown of a number of major water users has provided some benefit."

Groundwater and soil moisture levels remain very low due to the ongoing hot and windy conditions.

"To lift the level of both groundwater and soil moisture we need a consistent heavy rainfall. One advantage the recent showers have provided is a relative softening of the soils which will assist the rain to soak through as opposed to it running off due to hard ground conditions.

"We will reassess the river and groundwater levels again on Monday to assess the need or otherwise of further restrictions," concluded Mr Bush-King.

Restrictions in the Waimea catchment are Stage 2 rationing (a 35% cut in consented takes) for those permit holders in Reservoir, Waimea West, Upper Confined, Upper Catchments, Delta, and Golden Hills zones and Stage 1 rationing (a 20% cut in consented takes) for those permit holders in the Lower Confined, Hope Aquifer, Wai-iti and Wai-iti Dam Service zones.

Watering restrictions are still in place for urban water users in Richmond, Mapua - Ruby Bay, Brightwater, Wakefield, and Hope, and their rural extensions, which include Best Island and Redwood Valley. Only hand held hosing of gardens every second day is permitted according to your house number - if you have an even house number you may water on the even number calendar dates. Similar requirements apply to non-consented water use in the Moutere Domestic area and no surface water takes for domestic use in the affected urban areas are permitted unless authorised by way of Resource Consent.

It is of note that under the ‘no dam’ rules determining water restrictions the Wairoa River would need to exceed a flow of 6 cm3 per second from a ‘cease-take’ before restrictions would be lifted for unaffiliated permit holders. At the time of writing the flow was just over 3 cm3 per second.

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