Tararua District - Water Supply Update

Council would like to thank the community for the water conservation efforts to date and for their help in reporting leaks. Especially Dannevirke’s solid effort of saving around 2 million litres over the course of the week (around 6% of our towns weekly usage)! While this is great, it is necessary that the community, including extraordinary users, rally together to further reduce water usage.

While Dannevirke is the priority at present, water levels in rivers are reducing across the district so an increased focus on water conservation is important in all our towns. Norsewood, Woodville and Pahiatua will increase restriction levels.

Council would also like to draw attention to the similarities to summer of 2020, where rain was scarce and therefore our water supplies were stretched. During this time, our communities were a massive help with water management by conserving where they could. We are asking if our communities could again employ this community spirit and help us get through these summer months.

Water Restriction Levels

As a reminder, Council have five water restriction levels.

  • Get Ready
    • Keep water conservation on your mind.
  • Alternate Day Restriction
    • Hand-held hoses only on alternate days, i.e. houses with even street numbers on even days and houses with odd street numbers on odd days.
  • Alternate Evening Restrictions
    • Hand-held hoses only on alternate evenings between 7pm - 9pm i.e. houses with even street numbers on even nights and houses with odd street numbers on odd nights.
  • Total Outdoor Ban
    • Sprinklers, soak hoses, irrigation systems, hosing of gardens, and the washing of vehicles, buildings and boats using Council water is banned
    • Please note: the use of watering cans and buckets to water gardens is still allowed.
  • Essential Use Only
    • The use of Council water anywhere outside (unless is it recycled water/greywater) is banned
    • Water can still be used for cleaning and cooking, to wash clothes and to take showers


Norsewood’s water usage has steadily increased over recent weeks, to a point where it is not sustainable for the current bore. Therefore, Council will apply Alternate Day water restrictions and urge residents to please conserve water immediately.


Pahiatua’s water usage has been increasing rather than decreasing since December. Pahiatua’s water restriction level will therefore increase to Total Hosing Ban to try and kerb this high demand.

Council is completing work at the intake point at the Mangatainoka River to improve the ability of the infrastructure to take the consented amount of water. In order to do this, we need the main reservoir to be full, as we will be unable to pull water from the river while these works are underway and will need to rely on storage, of which there are around 2 days. The reservoir is currently sitting at around 75% but needs to reach 100%.


With minimal rain the Mangapapa River will soon reach low flows (below 24 litres per second). Under the current resource consent Council are not able to take water from the river at this point, meaning all water will come from the raw water reservoir. Under current water consumption levels (between 10-12 litres per second), stored water will last approximately 30 days. We expect summer will last longer than this, therefore Council are increasing the water restriction level to reduce water consumption. This will reduce this likelihood of further restrictions being applied, but only if water use reduces.


We will provide a further update on the Dannevirke water supply later this week.