Otago river levels Hit By The Dry season

Otago river levels Hit By The Dry seasonWith dry weather predicted for the summer, Otago Regional Council says irrigators should get ready for potential water rationing.

As the flow of the region's rivers reduces due to dry weather the farmers and other irrigators are being asked to conserve water.

The Council advises farmers should manage their irrigation as efficiently as possible.

If there's no substantial rain shortly, rationing could begin as early as this month said the Council.

The Kakanui, Shag, Taieri, Manuherikia and Pomahaka rivers are already at low levels which are not normally seen until late in the season.

All Otago irrigators have been advised by the council to implement conservative irrigation practices and prepare for potential water rationing.

MetService figures illustrate in the past 30 days, only 20mm of rain had been recorded at its site in Queenstown, 26.6mm in Oamaru, 19.8mm in Wanaka and 27.4mm in Dunedin.

Dave Stewart, a hydrologist in Otago said the deficiency of rain in November meant there was nothing to boost river levels and spring winds had dried the region out.

The weather was ''glorious'' but water level in rivers was dropping to the point beyond which restrictions were needed.

''Maybe we'll get some rain this weekend. Whether it'll produce much I don't know, but it's coming from the right direction.'' He added.

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