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Water rationing kicks in for Wai-iti zones

December 20th, 2017

Stage 1 water restrictions will commence on Monday 25 December for permit holders in the Wai-iti and Wai-iti Dam Service zones, Tasman District Council's Dry Weather Taskforce Convener, Dennis Bush-King, says.

Dennis said the existing water restrictions for users on the Waimea Plains will remain unchanged at Stage 2 for another week. However Stage 1 restrictions will come into effect on Monday for permit holders in the Wai-iti and Wai-iti Dam Service Zones.

"While the Kainui Dam is releasing water into the Wai-iti, this has started very early on in the season and to optimise the use of the water, we need to try and ramp down demand."

Mr Bush-King said he seriously considered a move to Stage 3 but under the existing rules this would have been a brave call given the Roding River contributed an extra 80 litres/sec over the weekend. He also said that salt levels in the monitoring bores were at an acceptable level.

"We are also watching closely the Motupiko which is 70 litre/sec away from Stage 1 restrictions and groundwater levels in the Moutere Western and Hau zones are at their lowest levels on record for this time of year. Conditions are also drying up in the Takaka and Aorere areas."

Mr Bush-King said the Taskforce would be meeting again next Wednesday, 27 December. Dry conditions continue to impact on beef and sheep farmers with little supplementary feed available and water tank refills are now taking up to 8-10 days. Rural fire risk is also very high in parts of the district.

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.

"Some rain might come next week but we haven't received any relief from forecasted rain over the last couple of weeks."

Mr Bush-King said that any effort to conserve water is to be encouraged. Council staff will be monitoring the situation to ensure compliance with consent conditions and the Water Shortage Direction.

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