INDEPENDENT NEWS

Dry Weather Takes Its Toll On Stream Flows In Rotorua Region

Published: Thu 14 Jan 2021 02:41 PM
Bay of Plenty Regional Council are implementing Level 2 of the Water Shortage Event Standard Operating Procedure for some streams with headwaters in the west-southwest of Rotorua.
The New Year has brought some weather extremes to the Bay of Plenty, with some intense rainfall in the Eastern Bay while dry conditions have been experienced in most of the central and western parts of the region.
This has resulted in several streams near Rotorua experiencing very low flows. The Ngongotahā Stream has reached its lowest recorded flow, for this time of the year, since records began in 1975.
Both the Ngongotahā Stream and Paraiti (Mangorewa) River have had declining flows for some time.
Regional Council is responsible for caring for the region’s waterways and ensuring people’s use of water is sustainable.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Water Shortage Event Manager Steve Pickles said the region entered 2021 with lingering drought conditions from long-term rainfall deficits starting in early 2019.
“We came into this summer on the back of last year’s drought, which we never recovered from, so there was always a high chance of low stream flows this year,” he said.
“If we do not get some decent rain in the near future there is a risk that stream flows will shortly reach critical levels, and we may have to impose water restrictions on consented water users.”
“The most affected area in the Bay of Plenty is currently waterways with their headwaters near the Mamaku ranges. It is most likely that the same processes affecting those streams are also reflected by decreased groundwater levels within the Rotorua geothermal system too,” he said.
Under Level 2 of the Water Shortage procedure, the Regional Council will undertake additional flow measurements in affected waterways, increase assessment, analysis and reporting for the focus area, while also increasing communication with affected stakeholders.
“As advised last year, water users need to be preparing and planning for water restrictions if the dry weather conditions continue”, he said.
“Even though our initial focus is in the Rotorua area, other streams over the wider Bay of Plenty region are also dropping. So it is important that all water users plan for some possible disruption to their water supply this summer. This included all consented and unconsented water takers.
“Summer water restrictions may be needed in the near future; to protect our local waterways and the wildlife they support from harm during record low stream flows.”
Across the region, everybody can also do their part to help to care for local waterways. Water users should check for leaks in their systems, and take steps to always use water as efficiently as possible to avoid wasting it.

Next in New Zealand politics

No politicians at Rātana in 2021 as celebrations made exclusive for church adherents
By: RNZ
Ongoing Worker Dissatisfaction Shows Need For Fundamental Change
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
The 16 Of Waikeria Have Surrendered
By: The Maori Party
Border Exception For Some Returning International Tertiary Students
By: New Zealand Government
Additional Actions To Keep COVID-19 Out Of NZ
By: New Zealand Government
Vaccine Only Part Of The Cure For Resumption Of Pacific Travel: World Bank Report
By: World Bank Group
Waikeria Prison Riot Must Be Investigated
By: New Zealand National Party
Prisoner Disorder Event At Waikeria Prison Over
By: New Zealand Government
Kelvin Davis Has Plenty Of Questions To Answer
By: New Zealand National Party
Māori Party Calls For Minister Of Corrections To Step In To Resolve Waikeria Situation Immediately
By: The Maori Party
ExportNZ Welcomes Back International Students
By: Export NZ
Pre-departure Covid-19 Tests Should Be Extended
By: New Zealand National Party
Government Must Act To Avoid Another Lockdown
By: ACT New Zealand
National Calls For Vaccine Rollout To Be Fast-tracked
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media