Water use reduced for irrigators
Levels is the Te Arai River have fallen below 60 litres per second prompting a water shortage direction by Council to irrigators on the river.
“Unfortunately, due to the drier than normal weather, we’ve reached that level on the Te Arai River already,” says environmental and science manager Lois Easton.
The direction means only permitted takes for domestic and stock water are allowed to continue, however those with permanent crops need to reduce takes to 42%.
Annual crops are not allowed to be irrigated from the river at all.
Seven irrigators are affected by the direction, which will remain in place for the next 14 days.
Ms Easton says the showers this week, won’t be enough rainfall to increase the Te Arai to a sustainable level.
“Council may have to stop all water takes if the river levels continue to drop.”
The Regional Freshwater Plan provides a minimum flow limits to ensure the health of the river is maintained.
“We’ve been working with the small number of water users at Manutuke. They’ve been very practical and willing to work with us to reduce their water demand in the past.
“They’re also required to provide water meter readings to Council daily.”
River levels in other parts of the region remain above minimum flows but are also dropping.
Council is encouraging all water users, including those on bore supply, and residents in the city to be careful and efficient with our water resources.
For advice on conserving water takes for irrigation contact our water and coastal team.