Letter: Unusually wet?

21:17, Feb 20 2014

In The Southland Times (February 12) you quote from a statement by Central Otago District Council corporate services manager Susan Finlay the following myth that suits the purpose of part justification for the increased water charges relayed to the Vincent Community Board meeting last Monday

''Coupled with that has been the unusually wet season so we have to take that into account.'' (link)

I contest the veracity of her statement ''unusually wet'' as applying to the past six months in Central Otago.

I would be very interested in Susan Finlay's justification for her statement by quoting actual rainfall figures for the last six months.

In a climate like Central Otago's, in which summer evapo/transpiration is four times the rainfall, of course rainfall variation cannot make much difference to plant growth and watering of plants for healthy growth, verdant kerb-sites and gorgeous gardens will always be a necessity but increased water charges make that unaffordable for many. Already the desertification of Central Otago towns and country-site is becoming very noticeable



(Abridged - Editor)

Central Otago District Council corporate services manager Susan Finlay replies: My comments about rainfall were anecdotal. The simple fact is the reduction in water consumption has been greater than forecast. This has had a number of positive effects for the council's water demand and infrastructure management. With the reduced volumes we must now adjust the fixed versus variable components of our water scheme budgets accordingly''.

We had always anticipated the need to make adjustments to water usage forecasts once consumption behaviours and trends were evident.

The Southland Times