Tasman region drought sees severe water restrictions put in place for Dovedale
Farmers in Dovedale are being told to get ready to destock as the drought in the Tasman region continues to worsen.
* Households urged to cut water use by half as Tasman district drought bites * Severe water restrictions to bite as drought could cost over $100 million * Dovedale rural water scheme upgrade in pipeline While farmers who had experienced previous droughts in 1976 and 2001 had never seen the Humphries Creek run dry before, Schruer said the water situation was heading into unknown territory.
Advertise with Stuff "It’s hard to tell, because our intake has never been in this condition in living memory – no one knows how the stream is going to react."
Compared to previous years, the drought conditions had started earlier and escalated faster, resulting in a significant drop in the creek flow.
Schruer said while contingency plans were being considered in the event of a worst-case scenario, none of the options could provide water at or near current levels.
At the meeting, farmers were being recommended to destock down to 70 per cent of their water allocation if the drought continued.
"It could be extremely serious if they run out of water for stock.
Sheep and beef farmers Arthur and Debbie Win said while the drought was bad, most of the farms in the area had been well-prepared.
"Because we’re sheep and beef farmers, destocking is what we do – where it can be tricky is if people are carrying too much stock for the water."
Originally set up as a stock water supply system, the scheme evolved over time to also supply households (which account for about 25 per cent of the water), reaching throughout Dovedale and into Upper Moutere.