Thursday, 8 February 2018

More on the (unreported) sorry state of the Hutt River

 An update on the Hutt River

A few days ago we had some rain which flushed the Hutt River. It also brought the temperatures down here in Lower Hutt to a level that is more “normal” just as the summer should be at its hottest.

As you can see from the graph the flow rates are back to the sorry state they were in before – all within about a day!

The photos below show that the lower reaches of the river are in a sorry state, with very little flow. At one point just before the Ewan Bridge the flow seems to almost peter out while the river immediately upstream seems to be like a rather shallow millpond.

It has been a pattern for the river to reach extremely low levels and then recover for a few days before returning to what they were before.

This does not seem seem to elicit any sense of emergency in the authorities – at least in what they are telling the public.

It damn well should!

And they should damn well come clean with the public.

 This shows incredible (and increasing ) levels of aggradation that was in days goen by managed by removing it.

 At this point the Hutt River is reduced to a trickle.

This is the mighty Hutt River - lol! Reduced to a millpond that could easily be waded across.

This is the view looking downstream toowards the railway bridge

From January 9 -

This is what it has come to – CITIZEN scientists doing the job the officials should be doing1

A group of citizen scientists are taking the health of the Hutt River into their own hands and testing the safety of the water on a regular basis.

The group of volunteers will look at how many rocks in the river bed are covered in toxic algae, sample the water for E.coli, test water temperature and keep track of rubbish.

The health of the river is an issue for the community, with 12 dogs having died since 2005 after coming into contact with a bacteria called Phormidium, which has been prevalent in the Hutt River in some years.

Phormidium can grow quickly over summer, spreading over rocks and then peeling off to float in poisonous clumps at the river's edge where dogs love to play.

Meanwhile, local and founder of Friends of the Hutt River, Pat van Berkel, wants to see the health of the river improve so locals can continue swimming there.


You just have to look at this DuckduckGo search to see who has been reporting on this in the last month!

Apart from stories about toxic algae ("now it's OK to sim,now it's not") the last time  this was taken seriously was at the beginning of December.

I have added old text and my own comments to the following,

Faucet open in Wellington and a drip comes out

It was a phenomenon almost forgotten in the parched capital and when it came many missed it.

After more than a month with virtually no rain in the capital city, a slight shower came down early on Sunday while many were still in bed.

It will not offer any relief and won't end water restrictions. The Hutt River is not about to gush in its former glory. Wellington's lawns will not go from brown to green.

MetService was forecasting a bit more of the same on Sunday - showers clearing by the afternoon with strong and gusty northerlies and a 22degC high.

But come Monday, the only feature of note is sun, followed by some late showers on Tuesday.

It was a more than a month ago - in spring - when Wellington last saw rain.
(And how much rain have we had since then? - SMR)

That was November 8 when 12.2mm of rain fell. There were hints - 0.6mm on November 10 and 1.4mm three days later - but since then nothing till now.

Wellington's sprinkler ban has been in place now for more than a week but - as of Friday - usage was continuing to outstrip supply and we were already dipping into our emergency supplies at Te Marua in Upper Hutt.

Wellington Water spokesman Alex van Paassen said the rain made "no difference to our supply situation at all, with no appreciable rainfall I catchment areas".

"We're still using our lake savings, and river levels are still falling."

But there was some good: "Grey skies, cooler temperatures and a spot of rain definitely all help make a dent in how much people use outdoors, and after [Saturday's] 159 million litres, which is bang on target and a great effort considering how hot it was, we would hope that demand stays at or below the 160 MLD level heading into Christmas."   (ha!ha! What cooler termperatures?! January set temperature records - the highest on record! - SMR)

I ask our negligent authorities and media - what has changed since this was written 2 months ago and why have there been no updates?

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