Drought far from over


Photo: Lower Nihotupu Dam, 4th May 2020.

We, like all of Auckland, welcomed yesterday’s rain, but the drought is far from over with our water storage dams still severely depleted.
Heavy squally showers delivered in 59mm of rainfall in the Hūnua Ranges – home to the four largest dams – and 21.5mm in the Waitakere Ranges. Overall, this saw the total water storage level increase from 45.8 per cent to 46.5 per cent.
Chief executive, Raveen Jaduram, says every drop of rain is welcome but warns the weekend’s weather did not alter the overall drought picture: “We need consistent rainfall over many months to make a real impact on our dam levels.
“The weekend rain brought us just two days’ grace, so we’re still facing the possibility of water restrictions.”
In the last month to date, the Hūnua Ranges has received a total of 62mm, compared to a historical average of 135mm. The Waitākere Ranges have also had less than half the usual amount of rain.
We are urging Aucklanders to take up the four-minute shower challenge and avoid outdoor use.
“Lots of small changes in behaviour, like deferring water blasting makes a real difference,” says Jaduram. “We know that because yesterday everyone stayed inside because of the rain and water use fell by 20 million litres across the region. Imagine if we could do that every day.”
More rain showers are forecast over coming days, but indications are this is likely to be much less than normal for this time of year.
We are continuing with a drought awareness campaign, which includes radio and digital advertising and social media messaging. Cutting shower times from eight to four minutes would reduce water usage by 80 million litres a day.