Council calls for water conservation across Marlborough

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Council calls for water conservation across Marlborough

Marlborough residents are encouraged to reduce their water use as the hot, dry summer weather continues.

With little rain forecast, the next five to seven days are likely to have a significant effect on the region’s water supplies, particularly for rural irrigators.

Council’s Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney says it’s important that residents continue to be careful about their water use.

“Everyone, including Blenheim residents, should avoid watering their gardens or crops during the heat of the day.

“People in Renwick, Picton and Havelock are doing a great job of voluntarily reducing their water use. If this continues we may be able to avoid water restrictions this summer,” Stephen said.

In Renwick, aquifer levels at the water supply bore are continuing to drop. The Council has reduced the output from the pumps, reducing the flow into the reservoirs from 55 to 45 litres per second – an almost 20 percent cutback.

“Renwick conservation-minded residents have done a great job in reducing their water use voluntarily and we ask them to continue with this approach.”

“In Picton and Havelock demand is currently matching capacity. Council is using water from the Essons Valley Dam in Picton, and keeping a close eye on water levels. Residents in Picton and Havelock are also encouraged to conserve water – every little bit helps,” Stephen said.

Council has advised river water irrigation users to monitor their usage and river levels closely. All of Marlborough’s rivers have minimum flow levels at which consent holders are required to shut them off – several rivers are rapidly approaching those thresholds.

The Rai River fell below the 1 cubic metre per second (cumec) shutoff threshold last Friday, and all consented takes from that river have ceased. The Wairau River is very close to the 8 cumec level shutoff, as is the Waihopai River. Without any rain these, and other rivers in the region, are likely to become unavailable over the next five to seven days.

For the latest river level updates, consent holders are advised to check Council’s Antenno app.

Alternatively visit the latest river level updates on the website

Top 10 ways to conserve water:

  1. Skip the bath and take a shorter shower
  2. Shower with a bucket – use the water you collect to water the garden
  3. If your toilet has a dual-flush system, use the half flush
  4. Check your toilet cistern isn’t leaking
  5. Wash clothes and dishes on a full load
  6. Wash veges and dishes in a bowl rather than filling the sink or leaving the tap running
  7. Wash your car less often and not during the middle of the day
  8. Mulch your garden to prevent water loss
  9. Water your garden less, and only early in the morning or late in the evening
  10. Save water when drinking - keep chilled water in the fridge rather than running the tap for the water to cool down.


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.