Irrigation supplies shut-down begins

Last updated 12:22 25/02/2014

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Irrigation water supplies to some parts of Marlborough are being shut down as the continuing hot, dry weather takes its toll on river levels.

The Marlborough District Council is advising property owners that water for irrigation is being shut off to about 5000 hectares of farmland and vineyards along the Wairau River.

Further Wairau consents, including all those from the Southern Valleys Irrigation Scheme, were expected to be cut off by today.

Waihopai consents will be suspended in the next day or two.

The shutdown is necessary slightly earlier than last year because there has been no real rain since Christmas.

Significant rainfall would be required before the water supplies could be reinstated.

All consent holders are advised to monitor the Marlborough District Council website, where the latest information is being posted regularly. Any consent holders without internet access may phone the council for more information.

Consent holders are also reminded that the council's compliance team does spot checks to ensure that all consent conditions are being met.

In Renwick, hosing restrictions to households are already in place and council's maintenance and operations engineer Stephen Rooney said water levels suggested that Renwick people had been very good about observing the restrictions.

However, the shut-down of irrigation water supplies would mean reduced flow through Gibsons Creek and that would begin to affect wells in Renwick.

That might mean the existing water restrictions for Renwick are escalated in the next few days, he said.

Blenheim itself had no problems because of the council's multi-million dollar upgrade of the water infrastructure.

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- The Marlborough Express

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