Stage one water restrictions remain in force for urban and rural residents of the Waimea area, including Richmond, Brightwater, Hope, Wakefield, Mapua and Ruby Bay.

Tasman District Council Dry Weather Taskforce convenor Dennis Bush-King said a spell of rain earlier this week had helped maintain river levels, but had not provided enough of a boost to lift the water restrictions that came into force on Monday 14 January.

“Even though the decline in river flow was not as great as I expected last week, we are still seeing a 1400 litre a second drop in river flow between Wairoa Gorge and Appleby Bridge. Because demand will be ramping up into February and March we will keep the restrictions in place,” Dennis said.

“The sprinkler ban continues for urban residents and businesses, and rural water permit holders must reduce their consented take by 20%. We’re asking people to conserve water as much as possible. Handheld hosing on alternate days is allowed, but please only water gardens or crops at cooler times of day and only if absolutely necessary.”

Dennis said the Dry Weather Taskforce would meet again on Tuesday 22 January to assess the situation. “In the meantime, treating every drop that comes from your tap as precious will help preserve our natural water resources and hopefully reduce the need to move to stricter restrictions if the dry weather continues.”

Dennis urged people to visit the Council’s website for ideas on how to reduce their water use, at www.tasman.govt.nz/water-tips.