28 Dec 2015

Water shortage likely in Marlborough

6:50 pm on 28 December 2015

Water restrictions are likely for residents in Marlborough as the region prepares for what some say could be one of the driest seasons in decades.

The sun rises over the vineyards of Waikakaho Valley in Marlborough

The sun rises over the vineyards of the Waikakaho Valley in Marlborough. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Most areas have been without rain for the past week, apart from Ward which saw just 1.5 millimeters of rainfall in that period.

The Marlborough District Council said unless there was a substantial amount of rain soon, the region was likely to experience a season similar to the severe droughts of 1973, 1998 and 2001.

Water restrictions are already in place in Tasman District, which is experiencing similar dry conditions.

Residents there are banned from watering lawns, and are only allowed to water gardens with a hand-held hose every second day.

David Easton, who has farmed apples on the Waimea Plains for 30 years, told RNZ last week the water shortage was likely to have economic consequences for crop growers.

The Marlborough District Council said residents in its district were already watching their water use but restrictions were almost certainly going to be put in place in the New Year.

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