This year its much drier much earlier and low water levels in the Kaihu catchment have now reached a level where it has been necessary to supplement the supply from our alternative source at Rotu.
Raw water is gravity supplied from a catchment out of the Kaihu River and piped to the Dargaville water treatment plant at Hokianga Road. River water levels at the Kaihu Gorge dictate the amount we can draw. So when the catchment levels get low we pump water from lower down the river at Rotu.
Why is this a problem?
Actioning the alternative source this early in the season has not been necessary in previous years. Last year it was March and this serves to highlight the importance of conserving water.
Our resource consent from the Northland Regional Council limits how much we can take and what we take we have to put back. We supplement the water from Rotu with water from the Waiatua Dam and at the moment we are taking 50% from the catchment and 50% from Rotu.
If we took 100% from the Rotu supply, Dargaville including Baylys would have a very limited supply and it would mean water restrictions.
What can you do?
Conserve water and avoid unnecessary use. This includes not using garden sprinklers or filling swimming pools, using hoses to an absolute minimum, avoid washing vehicles and check that taps are not dripping. Thanks to those who have already taken measures to reduce their use.