Water restrictions loom as dry sets in
Northland's district councils, major industries and consented water users are being urged to closely monitor their water use and prepare for possible shortages and restrictions unless there is significant rain over the next month or two.
Dale Hansen, water resources/hydrology programme manager for the Northland Regional Council, says rain over the past several months has been significantly lower than usual. "This month has also has been dry with low rainfall amounts, high temperatures and persistent westerly winds resulting in low soil moistures and reduced water resources," he says.
Mr Hansen says low soil moisture levels are likely to continue and river flows and ground water levels are expected to recede further in February and March.
That puts a number of areas at risk of potential water shortages, including western areas of Kaipara from Kaihu to Pouto Point.
Central areas south of Kaikohe and west of Whangarei, and Bream Bay and the southern Kaipara districts are also at risk.
Mr Hansen says 80 to 100 millimetres of rain is needed during over the next few weeks to ease the situation and avoid water shortages and possible restrictions.