Remaining Far North water restrictions removed

Published on 21 July 2020

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Remaining Level 2 water restrictions applied across the Far North are being removed.

The ban on automatic irrigation and sprinkler systems has remained in place for all eight Council water supplies much longer than normal due to fears the drought over summer could be repeated.

Deputy Mayor Ann Court says a very dry winter in 2019, followed by an equally dry summer, created unprecedented drought conditions that broke long-standing records across the region. “As recently as mid-June, MetService was warning there was a high chance Northland faced another dry winter with up to 30 per cent less rain possible during August and September. We kept Level 2 water restrictions – the lowest possible – in place until staff were certain our water supplies were out of danger.”

She says the Council was already planning to remove the restrictions when extremely heavy rains hit the region on Friday. “That deluge firmly dispelled any remaining concerns we had about levels in our key waterways and there is no longer any reason to retain the restrictions.”  

She says Far North residents and businesses did a fantastic job reducing their water consumption during the drought and their efforts helped avoid the need to use emergency supplies set up by Civil Defence in Kaitaia, Kaikohe and Rawene. “The people of the Far North understood how serious conditions were and their conservation efforts allowed us to continue supplying water without interruption.”

In responding to the drought, the Council built temporary supplementary water supplies for the hardest-hit towns of Kaikohe and Kaitaia, and is now focused on completing new permanent supplies for both centres. The Deputy Mayor says the Council is also working on ways to improve the resilience of all its water supplies to better prepare for future droughts.