Healthy water supplies and a hot humid summer ahead

Published on 21 December 2022


Council water sources are in a healthy state as the district heads into the summer break, making the need for water restrictions highly unlikely over the holiday period. This assessment is backed by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA Taihoro Nukurangi).

NIWA presented extended forecasting to the council this week showing that while there is a ‘drying trend’ in rainfall in ‘Week 2’ of their ‘5 week outlook’ this is reversed in the weeks heading into the new year (see main image). This means that over the next five weeks rainfall is on a par with the same time last year, while other data shows soil moisture levels are higher than normal. Overall this puts the Far North in a better position than last year heading into the holidays and well above rainfall and soil moisture levels recorded in 2019 and 2020 when a severe drought put supplies for several Far North towns at risk.

The three month outlook also predicts the chance of wetter than normal conditions, especially in the north and east of the North Island, as well as warmer than average temperatures and higher humidity, especially at night. 

While the news is positive about council water sources, it remains important to use water wisely over the summer months. Delivering safe drinking water to homes and businesses throughout the Far North requires raw water to be treated. Water treatment plants can struggle to keep up with significantly increased demand during periods of very high water consumption.

The council’s Water Shortage Management Committee will monitor water sources over the summer months in case water restrictions are required to ensure ongoing supplies are maintained.

You can check our Rivers - Levels and flows on the Northland Regional Council website by clicking the ‘Rivers’ tab then ‘Levels and flows’ and zooming into the navigation map. Webcams are also available for the Kāeo River and Awanui River by clicking the ‘List’ tab then the webcam icon in the list.

Other useful links:

Main image - NIWA 5-week outlook

Image below - NIWA 3-month outlook


Last updated 21 December 2022