With no meaningful rain relief expected, Tasman’s Dry Weather Taskforce is announcing a move to Stage Three water rationing from Monday, January 4.
Dry Weather Taskforce convenor Dennis Bush-King said Stage Three rationing means a 50 per cent cut in consented takes for permit holders in the Reservoir, Waimea West, Upper Confined, Delta, Upper Catchment and Golden Hills zones on the Waimea Plains.
Urban water users in Richmond, Mapua – Ruby Bay, Hope, Brightwater and Wakefield and their rural extensions may not water lawns but may use handheld hosing to water productive gardens on alternate days (your house street number indicates whether you may water on odd or even calendar days).
People should avoid washing cars and any unnecessary use of water.
All surface and groundwater takes where the water is applied to lawns and gardens are also prohibited.
Permit holders in the Lower Confined and Hope Aquifer zones move to Stage Two (35 per cent cut in consented takes) and permit holders in the Motupiko zone will move to Stage One.
A number of permit holders in other parts of the District are also on restrictions as provided for in their conditions of consent including Takaka, Anatoki, and Riwaka.
Little Sydney is to move into flow rostering effective immediately due to declining flows in the Little Sydney Stream.
The Brooklyn River, however, appears to be holding up well for now.
Wai iti Dam Service Zone permit holders are to stay on Stage One (20% cut) and all other permit holders in the wider Wai iti Zone are to move to Stage One restrictions also.
The Kainui Dam has been releasing water for the last eight days and this rate of release was increased as the area continues to dry out.
The dam is 95% full and is expected to provide 10 weeks supply.
While the Motueka and the Moutere catchment continue to dry they are still above trigger levels for rationing but they will be assessed again next Tuesday.
Waikoropupu Springs water levels are low and dropping for this time of the year.
Dennis says this is the earliest Stage Three restrictions have been imposed.
“We’re asking all Tasman residents to do everything they can to reduce water as we are now experiencing a serious water shortage. There are tips on our website of ways to conserve water.”
Dennis says rainfall in the Richmond/Waimea area was the fourth lowest since 1940.
Under the new planning rules that will come into effect if there is no Waimea Dam, permit holders would have been at 50% cut for the last three weeks but at much-reduced allocations.
“This underscores the pressure the Waimea water resource is under especially when these dry conditions occur,” says Dennis.