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Groundwater levels at record lows

April 15th, 2010
(TDC press release)

The Tasman District is experiencing a 1-in-10 year drought at present, and groundwater levels at Waikoropupu Springs and in the Hau Zone in Motueka have reached their lowest recorded levels for this time of the year, says Council's Dry Weather Taskforce convenor Dennis Bush-King.

Water permit holders in the Upper Catchment, Reservoir, Waimea West, Delta, Golden Hills, Hope Minor, and the Lower and Upper Confined Aquifer zones on the Waimea Plains are currently on Stage 1 rationing, meaning a cut in use by 20 percent in permitted water take levels.

Hosing restrictions still apply in the urban areas of Richmond, Mapua - Ruby Bay, Brightwater, Hope, Tapawera and Wakefield and the rural water supply schemes of Redwood Valley and Dovedale. Hand held hosing only is permitted on odd and even calendar days corresponding to the house street number. Owners of private domestic wells in the areas subject to rationing are also directed to only water domestic gardens every second day.

"We can be thankful that demand for water is decreasing, temperatures are cooling, but with the spawning season upon us we need to maintain a flow in our rivers. Salt water intrusion is another risk we must manage."

The Taskforce will meet again next week. With dry weather forecast Mr Bush-King said that a move to Stage 2 was still a prospect but the irrigation season, where permit holders have to submit weekly water meter returns, finishes 3 May 2010.

"Hopefully the impacts of restrictions at this time of the year can be managed. Permit holders can discuss options with Council staff if they are concerned that they are will have difficulty complying," Mr Bush-King said.




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