Recent rain combined with recovering river and groundwater levels mean water restrictions for the Waimea area move back to Stage 1 with immediate effect.

Stage 1 means a 20% cut in permitted allocations for permit holders across the Waimea Plains. People connected to the reticulated water supply in Richmond, Hope, Brightwater, Mapua, Ruby Bay and Wakefield may now water their gardens using handheld hosing on alternate days.

Sprinklers are banned but other outdoor water use is permitted.

Dry Weather Taskforce convenor Dennis Bush-King said while rain over the past two weeks had provided relief to the District’s struggling water sources, people still needed to be careful and conserve water.

“We continue to be very grateful for the voluntary water saving efforts residents and businesses are making. We’re able to relax some of the restrictions, but please do keep up your water conservation efforts as our water supplies are not back to full strength yet.

“Some Golden Bay water users are still under restrictions as provided for in their consent conditions.

“The Wai-iti Dam is still only 20 percent full. We are not yet out of the woods and there are still four to five weeks of irrigation to go as crops are harvested.”

Dennis added: “The Moutere Western and Moutere Eastern groundwater zones are slowly responding but will remain at Stage 1 restrictions at this stage. Dovedale is the only area to remain on a cease take for irrigation.  There is some flow from the Dove into the Motueka River but it is insufficient to resume irrigation.”

Dennis said conditions will be reviewed next week but in the meantime people should still use their water wisely.  The Motupiko and Wangapeka zones are under watch in case restrictions need to be reintroduced in future.

Full list of water restrictions from Wednesday 20 March 2019

Urban communities and rural extensions

Stage 1: Richmond, Hope, Brightwater, Wakefield, Mapua, Ruby Bay

  • Hand held hosing of gardens every second day permitted (even house numbers may water on even calendar days; odd house numbers on odd calendar days)
  • Sprinkler ban

Rural communities

Water permit holders

  • Cease take (water for essential human needs and stock health only): Remains in place for Dovedale water management zone
  • Stage 1 (20% cut): Upper Catchment, Reservoir, Waimea West, Delta, Upper Confined Aquifer, and Golden Hills zones move back from Stage 2 restrictions; Moutere Western Groundwater and Moutere Eastern Groundwater zones remain at Stage 1.
  • Some Golden Bay consent holders face restrictions as outlined in their consent conditions

Rural supply schemes (Dovedale, Eighty-Eight Valley, Redwood Valley)

  • Dovedale: Water for essential human needs and animal welfare only.
  • Redwood and Eighty-Eight Valley: Hand held hosing of gardens every second day permitted.