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Restrictions remain, despite rain

Water restrictions remain in place across the region, despite recent heavy rain.

Masterton District Council [MDC] said it would continue to enforce the restrictions announced on Friday, even though its consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council means it only has to limit water use when the Waingawa River’s flow rate drops below 2000 litres per second.

Yesterday, the river’s flow sat well above that at 5325 litres per second, Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] data shows.

It hit a peak of 40,491 litres per second on Saturday.

When restrictions were announced at 2pm on Friday the river’s flow dropped to 1901 litres per second.

Still, Masterton residents’ sprinkler use is limited to alternate days – odd-numbered houses on odd dates, and even-numbered on even dates, MDC said.

The data showed a quick decline in river flow after the peak was hit during the weekend.

MDC said water restrictions will stay in force until at least the official end of summer on March 31.

“The intention is to make the process as simple as possible and avoid too many changes to restrictions. It is inevitable that some rain will fall before the end of summer, but there will also be dry periods,” a council spokesperson said

The minimum restriction now in place limits sprinklers to alternate days, but if the flow level in the Waingawa River falls below 1300 litres per second, outdoor water use will be limited to handheld hoses until flows increase.

Meanwhile, South Wairarapa remains on a permanent water restriction, where sprinkler use is only allowed every second day, Wellington Water said.

Carterton has had water restrictions in place since late last year, and sprinkler use is only allowed on alternating days.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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