Tasman District Council Water Situation update

Media release: 29 January 2020

The Tasman Dry Weather Task Force did not have an official meeting this week but based on updated data and the current weather forecast, a decision was made to retain restrictions at their current levels except that 21 permit holders in the Moutere Eastern Groundwater Zone will come under Stage One restrictions from 3 February. For resource consent holders, this means a 20% cut in normal usage. For domestic use, watering lawns and decorative gardens is not permitted.

Some permit holders are also under restrictions because of particular conditions including water users in the Riwaka Zone who have a rostering arrangement, which enables them to flow share to reduce direct cumulative pumping effects on the river.

The Stage One restrictions, meaning a cut in use by 20 percent of consented water take levels, are already imposed in the Upper Catchment, Reservoir, Waimea West, Delta, Golden Hills, Upper Confined Aquifer zones on the Waimea Plains and in the Motupiko zone. There is no change to that for the coming week. Rationing is still likely in the coming weeks for users in the Lower Confined Aquifer, Hope Gravel, and Takaka zones if there is no rain.

Public Reticulated supply restrictions

The Waimea/Best Island/Māpua/Ruby Bay supplies move to Phase B restrictions with immediate effect. Under these restrictions you can’t water the lawns, fill or top up your pool or use water for play activities. You can still water veggie gardens and fruit trees with a handheld hose, timer system or bucket. Watering your amenity gardens and trees is only permitted every second day, again using a handheld hose or timer system (if your street address is an even number, water on even numbered days and likewise for odd numbers).  

For the coming week there are no changes to current restrictions in place on the other public reticulated water supplies. Phase A water restrictions remain in place for Richmond, Hope, Brightwater, Wakefield and Redwood Valley.

You are not permitted to fill swimming pools, but they can be topped up. Watering grass and lawns is not allowed but as long as you use a hand-held hose you can still water your plants and veggie gardens, wash buildings and cars.

These restrictions apply to homes, businesses and public organisations in the affected areas.

Special advice for Māpua residents

The Council is asking Māpua residents in particular to conserve water wherever possible and report any leaks as soon as they are found.

Richard Kirby, Engineering Services Manager says, “Our water levels in the Pomona Road reservoir are depleting quicker than we can replenish them and we are struggling to keep up with demand. With Nelson Anniversary Day and Waitangi Day approaching next week we expect demand to increase.

“We have now introduced Phase B restrictions but we ask all residents to be aware of the situation and do all they can to minimise their water usage wherever possible.”

The Dry Weather Taskforce expects to meet again next week (Tuesday 4 Feb) to assess the developing situation and make decisions on any changes to the current restrictions or to bring in restrictions for other zones. This will depend on rainfall and a review of declining river flows, aquifer levels and coastal salinity levels in bores.

In the meantime, we ask people to take note of and observe any restrictions that apply to them and for everyone else to conserve water as much as they can.

Dennis Bush-King, Task Force Convenor, also mentioned that some water users have not been keeping up with submitting water meter returns and that this is unfair to those who have been complying. He said additional monitoring charges will be imposed if the Council has to organise to read the meters and he hoped this situation would improve.