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the state of our environment | March 2014

the state of our environment | March 2014

Historically we’ve had a number of our worse storms in the month of March - more than 500 mm of rain within 10 hours in the Esk Valley in 1924 (I’m told), almost 800 mm at Aniwaniwa when Bola hit in 1988 and apparently a quick-fire 99 mm in 1 hour at Pukeorapa in 2005. This year ex-tropical Cyclone Lusi loomed, dumped about 200 mm in 24 hours at our Parks Peak site, then took off leaving not much more than a sprinkling elsewhere. So we still have summer-like dryness in places, the Heretaunga Plains in particular being a touch parched on the back of four consecutive months of below normal rainfall. Groundwater and soil moisture levels are all lying a little low, as are our river levels. Not to be left out our overnight temperatures also lagged below normal levels while daytime temperatures were close to normal (within 0.5°C of the average), making it still warm enough for the odd swim at our beaches and water holes - which on the whole came in with good water quality results for the month.

Sadly you know summer has moved on when our water quality team shake the sand from their togs and rustle up their river waders so this is the last update on our lukewarm swimming hotspots. Just to make you really happy about the changing seasons, look forward to our upcoming local reports on what, in global terms, the World Health Organisation states “is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk” – the quality of our air (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/).


20140404_HBRC_SOE_March2014.pdf

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