Community, Council

Rivers rapidly heading to cut off point

The hot, dry weather is putting the region’s water supply under threat.

Residents are being urged to save water as warm weather looks set to continue.

With little rain forecast in the next week, Marlborough District Council staff are recommending residents reduce their water use.

The move comes as several rivers edge closer to cut off levels,

Council’s operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney says rural irrigators could be especially affected.

“Everyone, including Blenheim residents, should avoid watering their gardens or crops during the heat of the day.”

People in Renwick, Picton and Havelock responded well to calls earlier in the month to voluntarily reduce their water usage.

“People in Renwick, Picton and Havelock are doing a great job of voluntarily reducing their water use.

“If this continues, we may be able to avoid water restrictions this summer,” Stephen says.

In Renwick, aquifer levels at the water supply bore continue to drop.

Council has reduced the output from the pumps, reducing the flow into the reservoirs from 55 to 45 litres per second – an almost 20 per cent cutback.

“Renwick conservation-minded residents have done a great job in reducing their water use voluntarily and we ask them to continue with this approach.

“In Picton and Havelock demand is currently matching capacity. Council is using water from the Essons Valley Dam in Picton, and keeping a close eye on water levels.

“Residents in Picton and Havelock are also encouraged to conserve water – every little bit helps,” Stephen says.

Council has advised river water irrigation users to monitor their usage and river levels closely.

All of Marlborough’s rivers have minimum flow levels at which consent holders are required to shut them off – several rivers are rapidly approaching those thresholds.

The Rai River fell below the 1 cubic metre per second shutoff threshold last Friday, with the Wairau River and Waihopai Rivers very close.

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