26 Mar 2013

Southland meeting on big dry

9:18 am on 26 March 2013

The latest figures on soil moisture, ground water and river levels in Southland will be shared with the region's farmers and rural representatives at a meeting on Tuesday.

Southland Regional Council communications manager Michele Poole says recent rain hasn't improved conditions and there's no significant rainfall forecast in the immediate future.

Southland is not in a state of drought but she says the council feels the dry conditions justify a briefing with the wider community.

"We had a little bit of rain over the weekend and that has alleviated the situation in two of the catchments, towards the west of the region.

"That's the upper reaches of the Aparima River and the upper reaches of the Oreti but for the rest of the region, particularly the Mataura catchment, it's made very little difference at all."

Ms Poole says the latest information from MetService is that there will be very little significant rain for at least the next 10 days.

She says the Southland Rural Support Trust will be represented at the meeting, with one of the issues to be discussed whether it is time to convene the Water Storage Response Group.

She says if the group is convened it would be a preliminary step in the direction of Southland seeking a state of drought declaration.