Council water sources in good shape for summer

Published on 14 December 2021

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All Council water sources are in a healthy state as the district heads into the holiday period. However, customers are being encouraged to use water sensibly over the summer months.

Above average rainfall during spring has put the Far North in a good position and normal rainfall is expected over the next four weeks, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Significantly, soil moisture levels in Northland are above normal for this time of year. While some dry weather is predicted over the next four weeks, it will not be abnormally dry and will be punctuated by normal levels of rainfall.

Andy Finch, General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, says rainfall experienced during spring has had a beneficial effect on river flows and other Council water sources. “Groundwater levels in the Kaikohe bore are the highest they have been for the last couple of years, while flows in Kaitāia’s main water source, the Awanui River, are also looking good. Kerikeri water sources are also faring better than this time last year.”

He says that Petaka Stream, which supplies the Ōmanaia and Rāwene water scheme, is the Council’s smallest stream and most fragile water source. It is often one of the first to cause concern, but this too is currently looking good.

While river flows are starting to decrease, which is to be expected at this time of year, the Council’s Water Shortage Management Committee is not recommending water restrictions before Christmas. The committee will review the state of Far North’s water sources again on 12 January.

Mr Finch says an influx of visitors is expected over the summer months, so it is important that everyone continues to use water sensibly and visitors are advised to do the same. “This will help our water sources remain at healthy levels throughout summer and avoid the need for water restrictions.”

Over the Christmas holiday period, Far North Waters will monitor water levels, demands on water sources, and bulk water use closely.

The Council continues to build resilience across all Council water sources with a number of drought resilience projects.

Information about the Council’s water sources can be found on the FNDC website here.