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Water restrictions hit western Taranaki

A dry October is catching up to some regions with parts of Taranaki, Waikato and Northland reporting very dry conditions.

But while maintains rain will be arriving in the coming weeks for the north, western areas such as Taranaki may not be so lucky.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the dry weather has been due to lack of rain bands moving in from the Tasman and the “typical” La Nina easterlies.

“We have had a number of weeks with frequent easterlies over the North Island – this is a very dry wind direction for Taranaki.  That coupled with limited rain bands moving in from the west means the region is becoming very dry”.

Mr Duncan says Taranaki won’t be so exposed to big sub-tropical rain makers unlike Northland.  “It’s certainly concerning at this early stage for farmers in Northland but already some computer models are detecting some development in the tropics directly north of us.  Hopefully it will only be a matter of weeks before we see some lows coming from the north and helping Northland – but that may not be so helpful for Taranaki”.

Low water levels in Taranaki’s Mangatete Stream has prompted water restrictions for Okato residents – south west of New Plymouth. and NewstalkZB reporter John Blackman says the very dry conditions are now showing signs in New Plymouth. “Conditions are certainly getting very dry underfoot. The soil is very dry”.

The restrictions require a total ban on the use of sprinklers, irrigation systems and unattended hoses, while hand-held hoses may be used on the odds and evens system: Odd-numbered houses on odd dates, and even-numbered houses on even dates.

Manager Water and Wastes Brent Manning says both New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Regional Council have been watching the lowering water volume in Mangatete Stream.

“There has been very little rainfall in Okato’s catchment for several weeks and we’re seeing the result of that in the Mangatete,” he says.

NPDC is in the middle of exploratory drilling to find an aquifer to replace Mangatete Stream as the town’s drinking water supply.

The drilling has so far come across small pockets of water, but none with the quantity required for an ongoing consistent supply of drinking water.

–, additional by NewstalkZB


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