Rural water bans kick in for Hawke's Bay as hot, dry weather continues

Continuing hot, dry weather in Hawke's Bay means rural residents are now facing water take bans on many rivers and streams, while urban residents face restrictions across much of the region.

A water take ban means consent holders are prohibited from taking water from the rivers or streams affected.

There are currently restrictions and bans on taking water on 16 sites across Hawke's Bay.

The Tukituki and Waipawa Rivers are on full ban, while a ban is imminent on the Ngaruroro River at Fernhill.

Authorities say with no significant rain forecast, further restrictions are likely.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Central Hawke's Bay Councillor Will Foley said it was a difficult time for those affected by the water take bans, but managing the region's water resource was a balancing act for the environment and the economy.

"As a Regional Council, we feel for those on water bans and also those where their own water supply, whether it be wells, creeks or springs, has run dry. 

"This current dry spell highlights the importance of our Regional Water Security Programme, which aims to make our region more resilient in these dry periods," said Councillor Foley.

The programme included the 3D aquifer mapping project, currently underway, which was one of four freshwater projects announced during the Provincial Growth Fund allocations to Hawke's Bay in June last year. 

For urban residents, both Hastings District and Central Hawke's Bay are on level three water restrictions which means sprinkler use is prohibited.  However hand-held hoses can be used on alternate days only, at limited times. 

Meanwhile, Napier City is on Level two restrictions which means using sprinklers on alternate days, at limited times.

The council's principal climate scientist, Dr Kathleen Kozyniak said there was very little rain in the forecast this week, but temperatures were expected to cool down.