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Rain helps but not enough

8 February 2013

Rain helps but not enough

Field monitoring has confirmed rain earlier this week has had a positive impact of river and stream levels in the Waikato region but by nowhere near enough to ease concerns about further potential water take restrictions in the near future.

Last week Waikato Regional Council reported the Piako River generally and some streams in north Waikato were close to or below minimum flows where water take restrictions kick in to protect aquatic life and ensure enough water in waterways for essential uses. The Waihou River was getting closer to minimum flows as well, while levels in other parts of the region were heading that way too.

Dr Ed Brown from Waikato Regional Council’s resource information team said updated monitoring this week showed the rain had made things slightly better for the Waihou, Piako and the north Waikato streams.

“But they are by no means out the woods yet and our monitoring is also picking up signs that the Waipa River and other waterways are under strain as well,” said Dr Brown.

Dr Brown urged all those with water take consents – such as irrigators, municipal users, farmers and industry – to stay up to date with river flows and to not use more water than they are allowed during periods of low flow. Information on river flows is available at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/riversandrainfall. Advice on consents is available on 0800 800 401.

Farmers and others taking water without a consent under permitted activity rules are urged to minimise water use wherever possible.

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