Thursday, March 21, 2024

"Dry Weather Task Force Updates Water Restrictions for Tasman District Consent Holders"

 Tasman Dry Weather Task Force update 

Thursday 21 March 2024

Tasman's Dry Weather Task Force (DWTF) has updated its water restrictions for consent holders across the district.  

The following Water direction notices will apply from Monday 25 March 2024 for consent holders in these Water Management Zones:   

Changes to previous week:  

  • Motupiko – Stage 3 Commences   
  • Rainy – Cease take Commences
  • Wai-iti Zones – Move to Stage 2   

Continued directions: 

  • Tākaka – Water Management Area – FMU – Stage 1 (a 20% cut for authorised weekly usage) remains  
  • Moutere/Dove/Powley Creek – Cease take remains  
  • Moutere Eastern Groundwater – Stage 4 (a 65% cut ) remains  
  • Moutere Western Groundwater – Stage 2 (a 35% cut) remains   
  • Baton/Wangapeka/ Glenrae/Tadmor/Tapawera – Stage 1 remains  
  • Stanley Brook - Stage 1 remains  
  • Waimea Affiliated and Unaffiliated – No Restrictions  

There has been barely any rain across the district in the last week. The minimal rain that has fallen has been insufficient to break the dry conditions in the soil. 

The upcoming rainfall forecast indicates some showers (for Friday ~10 mm) and possibly some rain mid-week next week (~20 mm). 

However, the NIWA drought forecasting tool still indicates an ongoing dry spell for the next few weeks.    

One positive is that some of the main irrigation takes are tapering off for activities such as hops and early apple harvesting. 

Across the district rivers and aquifers remain in decline at variable rates – depending on their location and level of abstractions. 

Now that the Waimea dam is supplementing flows, the main area of concern is the groundwater levels in the Moutere.  

  • Moutere Eastern Deep Groundwater Zone looks to have stabilised with a small rise over last week. 
  • The Moutere Western Groundwater has been fluctuating over the last week but overall, there has been a slight rise from the lower level in early March. 

Motupiko has dropped from 246 l/s last week to 196 l/s this week. Without further useful rain this will drop further to the point that a cease take may be considered in the coming weeks. 

The Wai-Iti dam has now dropped to about 26% full (compared to 31% last week) and water release has been throttled back to conserve dam storage and to keep the river hydrated for as long as possible.  

The Waimea Dam is about 93 % full this week. Augmentation has continued with flows being about 2600 l/s to 2900 l/s at Wairoa Gorge with the lower river flow at Appleby at about 1600 l/s. 

Dry Weather Task Force Convenor Kim Drummond said that while the irrigation needs of the horticultural and farming sector were beginning to ease, the effects of minimal rain across the district were apparent on the dry landscapes and paddocks which bore testament to the challenges faced by those still needing water. 

“Many people are feeling the strain of the ongoing dry conditions and the implication of the situation has a wider community interest – while acknowledging the human impact arising from what has now reached drought level, the DWTF must ensure we are taking the right steps and actions to help our rivers and aquifers replenish going forward.”  

Kim also acknowledged the work of Rural Support Trust (RST) in helping farmers ease the emotional pressure they are under. 

Regarding decisions that come from the DWTF, it is important that Consent holders take heed of the directions and remain familiar with Resource Consent conditions.   

Watering of lawns or decorative gardens is not permitted for any water user situated in water management zones where rationing is in effect.  This excludes users of Council managed reticulated water supply (where alternative restrictions will apply).   

Stock drinking water is not affected by these water restrictions.   

The position will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Dry Weather Taskforce on 26 March 2024.  
For more information, go to

Tasman District Council, Communications.

Rural Support Trust:

Call Top of the South Rural Support Trust

0800  787 254  free and confidential.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

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