Water restrictions still in place despite rain

Article from stuff.co.nz, March 21, 2019 - view full article here.

Water restrictions won't be lifted in Nelson yet despite the recent rain.

The Nelson City Council issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the rain on the weekend had done little to refill the Maitai Dam or river levels.

"To give a clearer picture, the level of the Maitai Dam has reduced by around 4 metres during the dry period. The recent rainfall only saw it rise by 5 millimetres. Likewise in rural areas, the weekend rain raised river levels slightly but by Tuesday they had dropped again."

With restrictions still in place, residences on Nelson's reticulated supply are banned from using sprinklers or hoses to water lawns or gardens, though hand-watering of plants is allowed. Rural properties taking water from rivers, streams, or wells are restricted to essential water-use only.

Councillor Stuart Walker, the chair of the works and infrastructure committee, said there needed to be a lot more rain to reduce the restriction levels.

"We are constantly reviewing the situation and any changes to restrictions are entirely dependent on the actual rainfall we receive, not what is forecast," he said.

"There is a risk that a dry winter could see the Maitai Dam further depleted, and then we face the possibility of going into next summer with already low dam levels. It's crucial that all continue to do what we can to reduce water use to help the dam and river levels to eventually return to normal."

Some properties in Nelson near Richmond, adjacent to Champion Road, are on the Tasman District Council water supply, and are on more stringent restrictions.

There were showers in Nelson on Tuesday, and the MetService is forecasting heavier rain early on Wednesday and again on Wednesday night with periods of rain into the weekend.

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