18 December 2015
Water restrictions in place
Falling levels in Gore’s water supply wells has forced the Gore District Council to activate level 2 water restrictions, effective from today.
This means residents can only use hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems on alternate days, between 7.00pm and 9.00pm. In other words, if a property has an even street number, the garden can be watered only on an even numbered day.
3 Waters Manager Sarah Crooks said the present water level at Cooper’s Wells, the main water source for Gore, was comparable to mid-January – “so effectively we are a month earlier with having to trigger water restrictions than we were last summer”.
Mrs Crooks said she appreciated the changeable weather locally may have created some complacency about urban water supplies.
“Unfortunately, the state of our water sources is dictated by the weather in the upper catchment of the Mataura River, not what it is like in Gore.”
Rainfall has been relatively low in the upper catchment and the river level reflects this. Consequently, there is not sufficient groundwater to quickly replenish the wells during high demand, Mrs Crooks said.
She noted there have been some very hot days over the last few weeks, which has seen water use escalate quite rapidly. This causes the wells to work overtime and puts stress on the water supply.
“Restrictions help us manage peak water usage on these days as well as protecting our supply.”
If the river flow and water use trends continue, the Council may have to use its emergency water take from the Mataura River early in the new year.
“We only pump from the river in emergencies as it can cause taste and odour issues, even though the water is treated to our required standards.”
Mrs Crooks urged Gore and Mataura residents to use water wisely – “it is a finite resource and we need to look after it”.