Dry Weather Taskforce Holds Off Rationing for Now

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Tasman District’s Dry Weather Taskforce has met for the first time this summer and decided to hold off on introducing water rationing for at least another week.

The first meeting was called due to concerns about the impact of the ongoing warm and windy weather and declining river flows on the local catchments.

Without rain it is likely restrictions will be imposed on some catchments depending on river flow and aquifer levels following next week’s scheduled meeting, said Taskforce Convenor Dennis Bush-King.

“Despite the meeting last night being a month later than the corresponding timeframe last year, there is no doubt the river flows and aquifer levels are declining and will continue to do so markedly if we do not receive rain shortly.

“If it doesn’t rain shortly we will be introducing restrictions next week with restrictions increasing each week to the point we expect we will be at stage 3 restrictions by Christmas. The levels are tacking close to what we experienced in 2001.

“The Waimea River is likely to get down to around 2.750 cubic metres per sec next week which is the new Stage 1 (20 percent reduction) trigger under the new rules that will come into force next year.

“The El Nino weather pattern affecting the district at the moment is expected to create drier, windier conditions than usual this summer.”

Mr Bush-King said that people can help already by using water wisely and taking steps to manage the land for very dry conditions.