Water Crisis: Conserve Now

Jan. 31, 2020, 5:05 p.m.

"I (We) can’t really underestimate the seriousness of the situation we are facing.”

Those were the words from FNDC General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch, as the Far North continues to experience one of its driest and hottest periods in recent history.

A short spell of rain this week was a welcome sight, but not enough to dampen the measures put in place by the Council as communities of the Far North are being asked to reduce their water usage by 25% in an attempt to conserve the last remaining reserves available. Mr Finch said the burst of rain this week was very welcome for those lucky enough to receive it, but it was nowhere near enough to recharge water supplies.

When questioned about the impact the avocado farms were having on the water supply issues, Mr Finch stated “In Kaitāia, we don't actually take any of the public water supply from the aquifer. We're taking largely from the Awanui River. There's no direct link between the town water supply and the avocado orchards.”

A drought working group has been established to look at the long-term view of the situation and ensuring that water supply is available for fire and emergency. Understanding any health issues for vulnerable users was also part of their focus.

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