Limitoo News

More water restrictions in South Island as reservoir levels expected to drop

Crops growing on the Waimea Plains.
From Monday, Motupiko, Tadmor and Waimea Plains will go into stage one water restrictions. (file picture) Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Water restrictions will come into force in parts of the Tasman District from Monday, due to a lack of any significant rainfall forecast for the region.

Tasman District Council said stage one water restrictions would come into force for users in Motupiko, Tadmor and Waimea Plains from Monday.

Tasman's Dry Weather Taskforce met on Tuesday to assess the water situation around the district.

Taskforce convenor Kim Drummond said while most rivers and dams in the district were above their trigger levels, they were likely to dip below that soon.

"At present, it doesn't look like there will be sufficient rainfall in the coming days to hold the river levels up."

Stage one rationing means a cut in use by 20 percent of consented water take for the Motupiko and Tadmor water management zones, as well as unaffiliated and affiliated consent holders in the Waimea Delta, Golden Hills, Redwood, Waimea Reservoir, Upper Confined, Waimea Upper Catchment and Waimea West water management zones.

Watering of lawns or decorative gardens is not permitted under stage one restrictions.

"While all the Waimea water users - affiliated and unaffiliated to the Waimea Community Dam - are being treated the same as we move into this initial rationing step, we will see a change in the approach should we move beyond stage one rationing."

Restrictions are already in place for the Waimea and Wakefield council water supplies.

Tasman District Council community infrastructure group manager Richard Kirby said that included the Richmond, Brightwater, Hope, Redwood 1 and 2 and Māpua water supplies.

Those areas are under Phase A restrictions, which prohibit the watering of grass or lawns, but permit watering of gardens with a handheld hose or time-limited watering system.

Filling up a pool is prohibited but topping up the water is allowed.

Nelson residents living adjacent to Champion Road, where water is supplied from the Richmond Water Supply Scheme, will also face Phase A water restrictions. This also covers the Wakatu Industrial Estate, Champion and parts of Saxton Road West.

Kirby said the position would be reviewed later this week with further restrictions possible.

Further south, people in the Southland town of Gore are being urged to restrict their water usage to help restore reservoir levels, which fell below 50 percent yesterday.

Gore District Council said a mechanical fault saw the Hilbre Ave reservoir drop to 44 percent capacity.

The council said staff worked through the night and had been pumping from a well to the reservoir.

It was now at about 70 percent but it was not expected to be full until Thursday evening.

Nearby, Mataura is under level 3 water restrictions with a ban on watering grass.

Meanwhile, Canterbury has moved into a restricted fire season due to an increase risk of wildfires, which means a permit will be required for all outdoor fires.

Te Whatu Ora also urged Cantabrians to take care as temperatures are forecast to get to a maximum of 30C on Thursday and 29C on Friday.