Water restrictions in place from weekend

Water restrictions for Invercargill will be in place from Saturday, 19 March, as flow in the Ōreti River, where the city’s water comes from, continues to languish.

Invercargill City Council Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said under the Council’s permit to draw water there is a condition set by Environment Southland to apply conservation measures according to the Ōreti River’s flow. The first trigger for conservation measures is when the flow falls to, or below 4 cubic metres per second.

The flow has been approaching 5 cubic meters per second throughout the week and is expected to approach the trigger this weekend.

There may be some rain next week, but due to the uncertainty nature of weather forecasts, the decision has been taken to apply the ban from this Saturday, she said.

The restriction will stay in place until further notice regardless of whether or not it rains.

“The NIWA weather forecast is for dry weather that will likely continue for many weeks yet.”

Ms Moogan said the ban applied to domestic unattended hosing and sprinklers.

A possible second trigger point would activate the prohibition of all domestic outside use of water such as washing cars and watering gardens, she said. The second trigger is set at 3.2 cubic metres per second.

Water restrictions were last applied in January 2018, with the second trigger point being applied for the first time.

“The second trigger can be quite soon after the first so people should be prepared.”

It is important that Council follows the measures set by ES in order to protect the Ōreti river system, she said.

Further information will be available on the Council website, which will be updated regularly.