Tasman District Council Environmental Information Manager Rob Smith talks about the water restrictions in Golden Bay and what that means for residents and consent holders.

On Monday 11 March, Golden Bay will move to Stage 3 water restrictions as the long dry spell continues.

Water permit holders in the Aorere and Takaka water management zones are subject to a 50% cut in permitted allocations from Monday.

Residents and businesses connected to the reticulated water network in Pohara, Collingwood and Upper Takaka are also subject to a hosing ban from Monday, with watering gardens allowed only with a watering can or bucket on alternate days, and only between 6pm and 8am.

Filling or topping up pools is prohibited under Stage 3 restrictions, and outdoor washing (such as vehicles, windows or driveways) is only allowed using a bucket.

Everyone who draws water from a private well or river take is also subject to restrictions – no watering lawns or ornamental gardens.

Acting Dry Weather Taskforce convenor Rob Smith said the Council’s rainfall monitoring sites showed rainfall in areas such as Kotinga, Harwoods, Devils Boots and Collingwood ranged from between 8 to 17% of average rainfall levels for January and February.

As a result, river flows were extremely low, with the Aorere River at Devils Boots and Takaka River at Kotinga recording flows lower than 50-year drought levels.

“Ecologically the rivers seem to be holding up well, and cooler nights are helping keep water temperatures down a bit. Staff from Tasman District Council and Cawthron are in the Bay this week to keep an eye on river health.”

Te Waikoropupu at Springs River was also very low, but has benefited from output from the Cobb Dam, Rob said.

“Irrigators benefited from these sustained releases until about February, when restrictions came into effect and they have had reduced access to water.”


Rainfall graphs: