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Ongoing dry weather highlights need for water planning

The very dry summers of recent years highlight the need for farmers and other water users to plan carefully over their water needs, says Waikato Regional Council.

Waikato Federated Farmers has heard reports this summer of some shallow underground bores on dairy farms drying up following insufficient recharge from rains during last winter.

The council’s industry and infrastructure manager Brent Sinclair said farmers could contact his team for advice when current bore pumps were no longer delivering water.

“The region has experienced below normal rainfall for a number of years and as a result groundwater levels have declined. This may result in some bores having water levels going below the pump intake.

“In some bores it may be possible to simply lower the pump mechanism within the existing bore to improve reliability.

“If this is not possible it may be necessary to drill a new bore. This will need a resource consent and our staff can help with advice on this. We would aim to process such an application as speedily as possible.”

Mr Sinclair said problems with lowering groundwater levels may get worse in the long-term.

“Climate change is predicted to make drier spells more common and this will increase the likelihood of shallow bores running dry.

“So farmers and other water users should take this into account in their future planning and look at what they need to do to help manage their businesses going forward.”