10 February 2020

A total ban on garden watering has been reintroduced for Masterton, with weather forecasts indicating this could stay in place for at least a week.

The restriction level was eased last week to allow sprinklers on alternate days after a rise in the level of the Waingawa River, but flow levels have since dropped back.

Masterton District Council Assets and Operations Manager David Hopman praised the water conservation efforts of residents.

“We had a fantastic response from Masterton residents when we had to introduce a total ban last month,” he said.

“It means we are taking less water from the Waingawa River and it does make a difference.”

He said the council aimed to respond to changes in the river level, and ease restrictions when it could for gardeners.

“That may mean we make changes to the watering restriction quite regularly, but these are very much tied to flow levels in the Waingawa River.

“Over the weekend these have fallen fast, despite a small amount of rain on Saturday night, so we have been forced to reintroduce the total ban.

“Unfortunately, there is no significant rain in the forecast for the next week, so this restriction may stay in place for some time.”

Flows in the Waingawa River below 1,100 litres per second trigger a total watering ban.

With flows between 1,100 l/s and 1,300 l/s, handheld hoses are permitted. At other times, throughout summer, garden watering in Masterton is restricted to sprinklers on alternate days.

For updates on Masterton’s water restriction levels, refer to the council website: www.mstn.govt.nz

ENDS