NZ: Running out of water in Makara
I am a strong believer in anecdotal evidence and citizen science.
I have a story from the local community of Makara where Pam and I keep our horses.
We heard from a local who lives on the beach. His house was condemned because it was basically destroyed by ex-cyclone Gita in February, 2018.
Now, with 5 days left until he moves out from his property he has completely run out of water. Fortunately the owner of the land where we kept our horses offered him some water from the stream that runs through the property.
Another Makara neighbour has discovered his rain tank is completely empty and has gone over to town supply.
Just a few weeks ago I thought things looked better than they had and we might might avoid the worst in Makara this year.
However, the above story and the state of our stream (one of my litmus tests) has persuaded me otherwise.
The first photo was from last year which was very dry.
Now compare it with this taken looking in the opposite direction (because of the shade from setting sun.
In the public discourse on cliamte change there is little mention of drought (until crisis I upon us) any more than there is of the speed and severity of the problem.
Official statistics tend to hide the nature and severity of the problem.
The high rainfall within the Rai and Pelorus catchments is essential to the surrounding communities, providing irrigation and recreation.
The Rai River attracts guided fishing trips on the hunt for rainbow and brown trout, providing tourism and recreational opportunities for the small community. It is also popular with Outward Bound as an outdoor classroom, while others use it for kayaking.....
Rai farmers contend with a high annual rainfall of about 2m that can saturate paddocks, with run-off ending up in the river. They have the added problem of substantial flooding along the valley floor, also affecting water quality.
Several fish found dead after riverbeds dry up in wider Marlborough region
2 Febraury, 2019
A number of fish have shown up dead as a result of drying up riverbeds in the wider Marlborough region.
It comes after concerns from Fish and Game Nelson Marlborough earlier this week over the effects of warmer temperatures on freshwater species.
Earlier this week, Fish and Game Nelson Marlborough expressed concerns over the effects of warmer temperatures on freshwater species. Source: Fish and Game New Zealand
Fish and Game regional manager Rhys Barrier told 1 NEWS as water levels recede, fish are becoming trapped in small pools of water with nowhere to go.
"26C will end up killing brown trout if they're in it too long," Mr Barrier said.
On Friday, Fish and Game staff visited the Opouri tributary of the Rai River, where they spotted several dead fish which were being "cleaned up" by hawks and shags.
The Rai River has been below its minimum flow levels for the past week.
We generally have to go by anecdote and reports like in this article to get a true sense of the picture. I believe the statistics from NIWA conceal as much as they reveal
Soil moisture deficit
Soil moisture deficit
Swimmers warned to take care after toxic algae found in Wellington region's rivers
2 February, 2019
It is more deadly than cobra venom and it has returned to the Wellington region's rivers.
Swimmers and dogs should keep away from sections of the Hutt River.