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Tackling Dry Spell at Lifestyle Block Field Day

Media Release   11 March 2008
Tackling Dry Spell at Lifestyle Block Field Day        

Saturday 5 April 9am - 4pm,
Waikoko Gardens, HB Showgrounds, Hastings


Hawke’s Bay lifestyle block owners will be able to get advice on planning better for the region’s regular dry spells.

The Lifestyle Block Field Day being held in Hastings next month will give lifestylers information on a wide range of topics from adding value to their block to being energy efficient. 

Two of the speakers at the Field Day will be asking lifestyle block owners to take steps to protect themselves from droughts and dry conditions through better water management and fire protection.

Hastings District Council’s Rural Fire Officer, Rene Londeman, will be giving practical advice on reducing the fire risk on a lifestyle block, water availability and fire truck access to properties.  He says there are a lot of simple things owners can do to reduce their fire risk and protect themselves and their properties from damage.

“It can be as easy as ensuring their driveway can accommodate a large fire truck and making sure their paddocks are properly grazed to reduce the fire risk, particularly in this current dry spell,” says Rene.

“Despite recent rain, the drought is still very serious in Hawke’s Bay. Warm, windy weather means any rain we do get is sucked out of the soil within a few days and we are back to square one.”

Rene says adequate and reliable water supplies are vital on lifestyle blocks especially in the current conditions.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Groundwater scientist Tom Brooks agrees.  He and Council groundwater technician Kelvin Ferguson will be presenting a workshop at the upcoming Field Day on water supply issues on lifestyle blocks and the importance of pump and well maintenance.

Tom Brooks says people with rural properties need to know which water and well issues they need to really worry about, and what they shouldn’t worry about at all.

“A question I am often asked is ‘will my well go dry’ .  In the workshop I will work through a list of things to worry about first - it’s more likely to be a maintenance or pump problem rather than a lack of water, but people need to know what to look for,” says Tom.

He says spending money on a regular maintenance programme for well pumps needs to be factored in every 3-5 years.  He and Kelvin will also talk about water quality and water suitability for crops.      

ends

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