ICC monitoring rainfall and impact on water restrictions

The Invercargill City Council will be constantly monitoring the forecast heavy rainfall for the region and reviewing water restrictions during the next few days, including the weekend and Waitangi Day, Water Manager Alister Murray said today (Thursday 1 February).

The Invercargill City Council this week banned domestic outside water use because of extreme low flows in the Oreti River. A drought was declared by MPI on Tuesday and heavy rainfall is now forecast for Southland, with the potential to cause flooding.

Emergency Management Southland has activated its emergency co-ordination centre and will be monitoring the situation.

The ICC’s Water Department is also closely watching to see what impact the predicted rainfall will have on flows of the Oreti River, Invercargill’s main water source.

If the flow rate rises above the level that triggers water restrictions, Council may consider temporarily lifting those restrictions.

Mr Murray cautioned that while the predicted heavy downpour might raise the river’s flow rate, this rise was likely to be temporary and would not have a long term effect on the drought.

“We will be monitoring the situation during the next 24 hours and on Friday morning will review whether or not the water restrictions will remain in place during the weekend and Waitangi Day, or whether they can be lifted temporarily. If the decision is made to lift the restrictions, this means residents can use their hoses.

“Council will make a public announcement, to the media and to the public via its website and Facebook, about noon on Friday.

“We appreciate the public’s understanding that the situation is unpredictable – and we thank those residents who have been conserving water – it has made a noticeable difference to our water consumption levels,” Mr Murray said.