3 Feb 2015

Taieri irrigation ban lifted

5:13 pm on 3 February 2015

An irrigation ban on the Taieri River which was due to take effect on Wednesday, has been cancelled after rainfall in Otago in the past 24 hours.

A 24-hour irrigation ban is now in place on Otago's Taieri River.

A 24-hour irrigation ban on Otago's Taieri River has been cancelled. Photo: 123rf

The Otago Regional Council says river levels are now above minimum flows at all its monitoring sites and farmers can continue taking water from the river.

The council has withdrawn its Water Storage Direction, which would have stopped farmers taking water from the river as of midday Wednesday.

But it's requesting farmers to continue irrigating conservatively, saying they are by no means out of the woods yet.

The ban was going to be put in place because last week the council said data showed the drought was already worse than the last big one of 1999.

A number of farmers in Maniototo had labelled the ban as unfair.

Chairperson of Kyeburn Catchment Limited, David McAtamney said 18 farmers had been giving up 100 litres of water per second for weeks to raise the river level, and the irrigation ban punished them for doing the right thing.

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