Southlanders urged to conserve water

Environment Southland is encouraging people across all of Southland to conserve water as the dry conditions are likely to continue.

Director of science and information Graham Sevicke-Jones said the recent rains were expected to have little to no effect on river levels and aquifers across the region.

“Unless we get some heavy, sustained rain it isn’t going to alleviate the situation and it remains concerning.”

Water restrictions are already in place across most of Southland, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand have issued a complete fire ban for Southland.

While a lot of people are subject to water restrictions, some farmers are continuing to irrigate within the conditions of their resource consents.

“Consent conditions vary from property to property, and farmers tend to draw their water from a range of sources, including stored supplies,” Graham said.

At this stage, approximately a quarter of properties with water take consents have triggered requirements to cease abstraction.

Environment Southland continues to monitor the situation closely.

More information about the current low water levels is available on Environment Southland’s website at www.es.govt.nz/low-water-levels, including graphs of aquifer levels, live river levels and situation updates.