Sunday, 20 September 2020


Driest summer on record for Whitianga

As the Coroamndel remains in the grip of a severe drought, members of the public, including those who hold consents to take water, are being reminded to comply with all restrictions as a matter of urgency.

Thames-Coromandel District Council says recent rain in some parts of the peninsula was insufficient to have any impact on the current alert level and emphasised there is still a serious need for people to conserve water.

“We monitor our water levels, along with supply and demand, daily and continue to look at the long-term weather forecast,” says group operations manager Bruce Hinson. “At this stage, we’re confident that our drinking water supply can be managed in the current situation, and contingency plans are being prepared if the situation worsens.”

If you are on tank water and your tank levels are dropping or are at critical levels, make sure you book in a tanker refill because wait times may increase as this dry spell continues, the council warns.

Anyone who is having trouble accessing water for their basic needs, is asked to contact 07 868 0200 and council will help residents to get in touch with the right agencies.

Waikato Regional Council has advised resource consent holders for water takes to carefully check their consents for clauses relating to low-flow conditions. For those taking surface water this might mean an immediate reduction or cessation of take, warned the council’s water allocation team leader Donna Jones. “It is crucial that all those who have not already done so begin conserving water now to reduce the pressure on our waterways and to protect water quality and ecology,” she said.

TCDC also revealed that recycled water from the Whitianga Water Treatment Plant was now being used to irrigate the playing fields at the Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park. The sprinkler system will be activated during night-time hours using treated water which will be continually tested and monitored.

The reiterated warnings around water use come as drought conditions in Waikato and South Auckland were classified an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support for farmers and growers.

“This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on the primary sector and additional support is needed,” said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor

The $80,000 for the Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust is aimed at helping to speed up the recovery of farming and horticultural businesses. The funds will be used to run information sessions, technical transfer activities and other community events to help support farmers and growers, one-to-one and group support and the coordination of help, resources and information for recovery.

Total watering bans are in place for most major towns including Whitianga, Coromandel Town, Hahei and Tairua. Up to date information on water restrictions for communities across the peninsula is available at


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.