Low aquifer level leads to top-up from river

SHARE

Gore’s water supply is now being supplemented by water from the Mataura River after the aquifer level at Cooper’s Wells dropped and could not meet demand.

In January Gore’s average daily water use was 3580cum per day.

Matt Bayliss, 3 Waters asset manager, said water was pumped from the river and into the aquifer about 100m from the Cooper’s Wells site.

“It’s pumped into an infiltration gallery which allows the water to soak through the ground.

“We are artificially recharging the aquifer, so lifting the well levels,” Mr Bayliss said.

The intake pipe was about 3.5km upstream from the bridge over the river at Gore.

About 2000cum per day was being piped from the river, which was almost half of Gore’s daily water use.

He was not sure how long the river would be used to supplement the water supply.

“Essentially what we’ve found in the past is that a decent-sized flood will be sufficient to recharge the aquifers.

“Obviously it depends on how much the aquifer is recharged, how long the next dry spell is, as to whether we need to pump again.”

A new deeper bore was planned for the Cooper’s Wells site but the council was waiting for Environment Southland approval to pump water from it.

“We’re just in the process of varying our existing water take consent that allows us to take water from the new bore,” he said.

It was hoped approval would be given by the end of February.