Water levels, aquifers good

23:46, Feb 20 2013

Water restrictions are unlikely to be needed for another three weeks at least, as river and aquifer levels remain healthy despite the dry spell this month, the Marlborough District Council says.

The council put water restrictions in place in Renwick from December 21 until January 15 after a dry spell of weather.

Council operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney said rain at the start of the year boosted rivers and aquifers and although levels were dropping again with the dry weather in the past few weeks, they were not near their pre-Christmas levels.

The Wairau aquifer which feeds Renwick was still the lowest of the aquifers supplying Marlborough towns and the water level in the aquifer had dropped a metre in the past month. However, it would take another two to three weeks of dry weather before water restrictions were likely to be needed again, he said.

The aquifers in Havelock and Picton were looking quite healthy, he said.

Council environmental science and monitoring manger Alan Johnson said water levels were high enough that there were no restrictions on irrigation schemes either, but the forecast was for the dry spell to continue and the council was keeping a close eye on water levels.


The council was also encouraging both irrigators and people in towns not to waste water.

"We're monitoring pretty closely on the river levels. If we don't get any rainfall in the next month or so, we could get restrictions."

Niwa's seasonal climate prediction is for an average rainfall of between 80mm and 170mm for Marlborough over the next three months.

The Marlborough Express