11 March 2013
Sprinkler ban remains in place
A ban on sprinklers remains in place for Gore and Mataura as urban water supplies continue to be under pressure.
The Gore District Council has been at level 3 water restrictions, which allow only hand-held hosing on alternate days, since last month.
District Assets General Manager Paul Withers said the Coopers and Jacobstown wells that feed Gore's water supply are just holding their own.
However, the Council is putting in place emergency procedures to take water from the Mataura River to supplement the wells, if required.
River levels continue to drop
The Mataura River is continuing to drop with the present level just over 11 cumecs (cubic metres per second). With no rain of any significance forecast for this week, the river is expected to drop below 10 cumecs by Friday, Mr Withers said.
The Council must impose a total hosing ban when river flow drops to 9 cumecs.
Environment Southland records show the lowest recorded flow at Gore was about 6 cumecs in March 1956. More recently the river dropped to 8.1 cumecs in March 1978.
Mr Withers warned that it would take a sustained period of rain to raise the river level and replenish the aquifers that feed the wells.