More water restrictions as reservoir levels drop

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Gore’s extremely hot, dry weather has seen a drop in levels at the Gore water reservoir, 3 Waters asset manager Matt Bayliss says.

This had forced the Gore District Council to raise water restrictions for the town to level 4, effective immediately, Mr Bayliss said.

“At level 4 there is a total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and hand-held hoses,” he said.

Car washing by hand-held hose was also prohibited, he said.

Mataura residents have faced level 4 water restrictions since Monday after a major water drawdown saw the town’s reservoir drop to critically low levels.

Mr Bayliss said over the past day or so the Gore reservoir had started to lose ground, and was down to 65% capacity.

“We know there’s rain forecast but we couldn’t risk the possibility of there being not enough to recharge the aquifer.”

He said the Mataura River flow at Gore remained extremely low, at 11.8cumecs.

While commercial water users were exempt from the restrictions, the council would ask them to restrict water use.

The council this week changed its watering regime for hanging flower baskets in Gore and Mataura, setting the timers to water for 30 minutes instead of an hour.

While the water was treated and safe to use, there would be a water tanker at the Mataura service centre for people to access drinking water, Mr Bayliss said.

The water was being brought in from outside the Gore district.