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Brief period of rain not enough to break drought in Nelson Tasman region


The Nelson Tasman region has received its highest rainfall in a single day in nearly five months.

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Residents are being asked to keep saving water and prepare for tougher restrictions. Source: 1 NEWS

But the brief reprieve isn't enough to break the drought.

Tasman District Council has welcomed the rain, but Engineering Services manager Dwayne Fletcher says it’ll be "a few more days" before they’ll know what it does to the aquifers.

Between 20mm and 30mm of rain fell across the region this morning, the wettest one day rain total since October.

Mr Fletcher says if there is "sustained rain and it gets up to around 80mm then we can consider the drought broken".

The Wai Iti Dam, which supplies the town of Wakefield, has about two weeks worth of water left before it runs dry. But the council is taking advantage of the rain, shutting it off for three days, to make the water last longer.

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1 NEWS’ meteorologist gives his analysis. Source: 1 NEWS

Restrictions are already in place, including a ban on non-essential outdoor water and Tasman businesses cutting use by 25 per cent.

But community savings are making a difference.

Richmond resident Bridget Lee Hobden and her family are doing their part, with buckets and tubs at every drain.

Mrs Hobden says they’re "incredibly mindful about what is going down the gully traps".

"We've shortened showers, we're collecting the water, having the ultimate camping shower turning the tap on and off in between sudsing and rinsing. And being really mindful about washing machine usage".

The average person in Tasman uses about 250 litres of water per day. While the entire Hobden family used just 160 litres in 24 hours.

Mr Fletcher says the message to residents is "keep going".

It is hoped with the forecast rain over the weekend and the coming week that restrictions will be reduced.

But until the region sees rain falling more consistently, the council says it’s still too early to call.