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The big dry

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, March 13th, 2013 - 77 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, energy, farming, sustainability, water - Tags:

We’re now experiencing the worst drought in the North Island in recorded history. It comes just five years after the previous severe drought and there was a lesser one in between. Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s climate change. Bill English came very close on Monday to admitting that climate change induced-droughts will make bailouts unsustainable.

Take a look at this first graph. The soil moisture deficit is the amount of extra moisture that would be needed in the soil before it was wet enough that it couldn’t hold more (and the water would flow through the soil into streams, through into rivers etc). The grass won’t grow if there’s much of a deficit.

soil moisture deficit 20130312

In vast swathes of New Zealand, the deficit is now literally off the charts. To get back to field capacity, those red areas need more than, sometimes much more than, 130mls of rain plus whatever amount is lost without being absorbed into the soil. Large parts of the country have seen less than 10mls in the past month.

And it’s not just the farmers. Our hydrolake system doesn’t have a hell of a lot of capacity compared to other hydro-dependent nations, which means we’re very sensitive to inflows. Late last year, the hydrolakes were being spilled because they were too full. Now… look at the drop-off in inflow. Half of the average for this time of year.

hydro lake inflows 20130311

And, suddenly, with a sixth of the water that is usually in the hydrolakes at this time of year missing, it’s shaping to be a dry year unless rain comes quick and falls in the right places.

hydro lake levels 20130311

Unfortunately, the tail-end of Cyclone Sandra now looks like it’ll hit the West Coast and Fiordland, good for Manapouri and Te Anau which are at very low levels but missing the worst drought zones. Lake Taupo is rapidly heading towards the bottom of its operating level and, if that happens, it’ll be trouble. We’re already seeing higher spot power prices.

But the important thing is this isn’t just about this year. This is climate change, this is an accelerating trend of more extreme weather events- more droughts, more floods, more storms, more heatwaves. We’ve built our energy and agricultural systems around a relatively stable climate and now we’ve kicked it over on its arse for no good reason. And it’s we who will pay the price.

77 comments on “The big dry”

  1. johnm 1

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/mar/07/australia-angry-summer-climate-change

    A Picture is worth a thousand words, if you view above link there’s a graphic showing how climate change has hit Australia this year too: ” In just 90 days 123 records broken throughout Australia” Categories of extreme climate events are: The four categories: RECORDS AS FOLLOWS: MAX TEMP, FLOOD, DAILY RAINFALL, HEATWAVE. Tim Flannery said:
    “I think one of the best ways of thinking about it is imagining that the baseline has shifted. If an athlete takes steroids, for example, their baseline shifts, they’ll do fewer slow times and many more record-breaking fast times. The same thing is happening with our climate system. As it warms up, we’re getting fewer cold days and cold events and many more record hot events.”

    NE Australia is getting extreme rainfall and flooding, the rest of the continent is drying out and getting more heat.
    Here in Wellington I observed we had last Winter some freakishly warm weather. In June I observed a warmish southerly coming through! and the chilling down one day reversed itself and temps when up. Winter is coming later and later it seems and then we not having a real Winter. During the 00s the climate got wetter now like the 90s it’s getting drier again?
    Despite the Tararuas apparently we are running out of water here in Wellington! :-( !

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8417298/Wellingtons-water-supply-now-at-crisis-level

    • johnm 1.1

      ” Canada losing its seasons – ‘We are changing seasonality. The north is becoming like the south, losing its sharp contrasts between the four seasons.’”

      http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2013/03/canada-losing-its-seasons-we-are.html

      “UXBRIDGE, Canada (IPS) – “Canada is not a country, it’s winter,” Canadians say with pride. But the nation’s long, fearsome winters will live only in memory and song for Canadian children born this decade.

      Winters are already significantly warmer and shorter than just 30 years ago. The temperature regimes and plant life of the south have marched more than 700 kilometres northward, new research shows.

      The frozen north is leaving and won’t be back for millennia due to heat-trapping carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, experts say.

      By 2091, the north will have seasons, temperatures and possibly vegetation comparable to those found today 20 to 25 degrees of latitude further south, said Ranga Myneni of the Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University. “

    • Rogue Trooper 1.2

      :(

  2. vto 2

    The central south island hydro lakes were all full to overflowing following the massive rainfalls of early january.

    They are now too low.

    Somethign collosally seriously wrong has happened with the management of this – and it is management, not the weather. Those lakes can supply for a significant period of time from full without rain.

    I wondered many years ago, soon after privatisation of the system had begun, whether it is in the best interests of the power companies to have a lower lake level and hence lower supply to drive up the price. Seen it many times. Lakes are full equals excess supply and lower prices, so drain the lakes. Needs investigating. Although some would call it a conspiracy…

  3. scotty 3

    National will use the current crisis as a reason to fast track irrigation schemes ,ditch WCOs etc..
    I expect the hard sell to start any day now ,
    Probably when the Head of the Hawaiian dairy farmers lobby group, is back onboard.

    • MrSmith 3.1

      You bet your boots they will scotty, this government is all about disaster capitalism.

      Personally I would let the Farmers burn in their those gum boots.

  4. muzza 4

    You can’t talk about climate change, withough talking about geo-engineering, which has been happening now for a long time, and is accelerating the impacts of what people refer to as climate change. Its been documented, filmed, talked about in the MSM even.

    It would be appropriate for those who write articles which then aim at climate change, to include geo-engineering in analysis, and the weather manipulation via aerosole spraying of NZ airspace.

    • TheContrarian 4.1

      Chemtrails? Oh my. Less head injury, more thinking, chief.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        No mate, geo-engineering, look it up, and then try looking up occasionally.

        Its been going on a very long time, and sticking your head in the sand does not change that!

        • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1

          I know what geo-engineering, have read and seen the works of David Keith, watched both Why/What in the World are They Spraying. Have spent some years reading about it Muzza.

          And none of it adds up to a wide ranging, global conspiracy I’m afraid. Instead of ‘looking up’ look down to the science books.

          • muzza 4.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough TC, everyone is welcome to their views and opinions, I respect that.

            I will however say that in this instance, those who think its not going on, are so very incorrect, and the longer those same people can’t understand/accept it, the further past the point of no return it all leads.

            Sooner than later, its all coming out, new scientist ran an article about it not long ago, and featured it on the cover, here is a link to it.

            http://www.google.co.nz/imgres?q=new+scientist+geoengineering+cover&um=1&hl=en&safe=vss&sa=N&biw=1052&bih=698&tbm=isch&tbnid=HVos5lWCkG71UM:&imgrefurl=http://peterhousehold.blogspot.com/2012/09/geo-epanic.html&docid=29Wyiy21HRlY8M&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3DYmH_nAJ80/UF0GPME4qyI/AAAAAAAAAiA/i8aRemQAahc/s1600/002.jpg&w=1207&h=1600&ei=s7I_UbHiKYnmkAXC9YHwBQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=106&vpy=99&dur=7797&hovh=259&hovw=195&tx=161&ty=92&page=1&tbnh=152&tbnw=121&start=0&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:81

            Perhaps you think the financial *situation* is also not a *wide ranging global conspiracy*!

            • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The New Scientist article was about geo-engeering, not about it currently happening.

              The only ‘evidence’ of geo-engeering actually taking place comes from highly questionable sources and no credible evidence has ever been put forward.
              Most of the ‘evidence’ is so laughably bad it is embarrassing.

              • muzza

                Of course it would not be going on without your knowledge, or that of OAB below either /sarc (in case you needed the tag)!

                So what are credible sources on this topic to you TC? And once you have given them, can you also provide the list of funders, investment, major shareholders etc for the *credible sources*…

                On ya!

                • TheContrarian

                  “So what are credible sources on this topic to you TC?”

                  Not Alex Jones for a start. Or rense.com. Or some guy photographing clouds and covering his backyard in vinegar when the Slyphs don’t respond.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Nah, Contrarian – despite the conspiracist drivel and paranoia you’ll find plenty of reputable sources on the subject.

                • TheContrarian

                  Of course, small scale cloud seeding and the like has been practiced and there is real talk about geo-engineering implications but what the chemtrail nuts are talking about is a worldwide conspiracy and that it has been going since around 1996.

                  • muzza

                    The fact that you point to Alex Jones shows where you are at with all this, I have never linked to AJ, I said the same to others here, when they have done exactly what you just have, by pulling out the AJ reference, eroneous!

                    It was also predictable you were going to state what the sources were NOT, as opposed to what they are, you disqualify yourself right there champ.

                    Easier to throw names like AJ around without addressing my questions, which amounts to, who controls the funds supply, controls the research, and the data, its that simple.

                    Seeding began around 1915, so imagine what is possible now, just take a look at the tech advances we lay people get to use every day, then imagine what else could be going on, which is kept far away from the plebs, its like enough information is not fed through the media, sheesh!

                    Why would you think that chem trails, and geo-engineering are mutually exclusive, I read your words that way, feel free to answer this one!

                    Don;t be scared, be interested and try to get informed, its your future too!

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Don;t be scared, be interested and try to get informed, its your future too!”

                      I think I have already proven myself informed. I was being facetious with Alex Jones. I don’t think Chemtrails and geo-engineering are unrelated.

                      Here is what I said:

                      “Of course, small scale cloud seeding and the like has been practiced and there is real talk about geo-engineering implications but what the chemtrail nuts are talking about is a worldwide conspiracy and that it has been going since around 1996.”

                      There is no worldwide spraying campaign nor is there any evidence of it.

                    • muzza

                      I don’t think Chemtrails and geo-engineering are unrelated

                      Ok, you think that much, take it a little further, whats your view on what they are?

                      There is no worldwide spraying campaign nor is there any evidence of it.

                      If you’re so sure there is not a campaign, and how would you actually know (you clearly are not paying attention to the sky, do not spend time in various countries paying attention to their skys, do not fly planes, do not follow commercial flights, or do not read very well), then no evidence would or could exist in your mind would it, but thats not the case at all!

                    • TheContrarian

                      “whats your view on what they are?”

                      umm, contrails maybe?

                      “you clearly are not paying attention to the sky, do not spend time in various countries paying attention to their skys, do not fly planes, do not follow commercial flights, or do not read very well”

                      Paying attention to the sky is meaningless – I visited every chemtrails page I can find, watched a multitude of videos on the topic, I understand the physics of aeronautics to a layman degree and how wing vertices and plane exhaust works and there is nothing to suggest there is any worldwide conspiracy outside of make-believe.

                      When considering the validity of a conspiracy one needs to think of who is involved. In this instance it would 1000’s of airport workers, pilots, chemical manufacturers, scientists as well as often competing and at war governments all complicit in a single worldwide conspiracy. That alone should raise alarm bells as to the chemtrails veracity.

                    • muzza

                      So you chose to not address the questions again TC, thats a number of times in this conversation alone…

                      Paying attention to the sky is meaningless

                      You have to be joking with that comment, we are talking about something where the action is in the sky, goodness me!

                    • TheContrarian

                      I haven’t dodged any questions.

                      Paying attention to the sky is meaningless because what are you looking? Clouds. You can’t test them, you can only look at them and apply your own interpretation which is meaningless when discussing the validity of chemtrails.

                      That cloud/contrail looks funny =/= evidence of chemtrails

                    • muzza

                      That cloud/contrail looks funny =/= evidence of chemtrails

                      Sure it does, if you know what to look for, or what you’re looking at!

                      Assume you have not been on a plane, (commercial flight) at 35k feet watching multiple planes lay trails offshore (up west coast of the south island), flying routes/formations which are not those of commercial airlines.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Assume you have not been on a plane, (commercial flight) at 35k feet watching multiple planes lay trails offshore (up west coast of the south island), flying routes/formations which are not those of commercial airlines.”

                      How did you know they weren’t flying on flying routes/formations which are not those of commercial airlines? How did you know they were commercial arliners? How did the fact the air traffic controller not notice this plane flying on a route it shouldn’t? How about the pilot of the plane you were on, wouldn’t he have known the plane wasn’t on the right route?

                      “Sure it does, if you know what to look for, or what you’re looking at!”

                      That cloud/contrail looks funny =/= evidence of chemtrails.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I’m with muzza; keep watching the skies!

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmDqKUEKW_Y

                    • muzza

                      How did you know they weren’t flying on flying routes/formations which are not those of commercial airlines?

                      Don’t know much about commercial airline routes etc do you!

                      How did you know they were commercial arliners?

                      I did not say they were, I said they were not – See the note above about you not knowing much about commercial flight paths…

                      How did the fact the air traffic controller not notice this plane flying on a route it shouldn’t?

                      No idea , I was not in contact with ATC at the time, as I was not flying the plane,

                      How about the pilot of the plane you were on, wouldn’t he have known the plane wasn’t on the right route?

                      When I asked the cabin crew to to check with the pilot what the plane which was flying over/infront of/higher than our plane was, the response I was, the pilot did not see anything. When I pointed out the second plane, the response from the pilot was, its an ATA Turbo Prob (go read up, that response was ridiculous, given height, speed, direction, of what I was filming)

                      Go learn to fly planes, you’ll learn something about the weather at the same time, and navigation, and other useful skills which will allow you know when something up there is out of place – Spend a lot of years doing so, its worth it!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      It’d be nice if you’d answer the first question, Muz. How did you know they weren’t on commercial routes? You have the advantage, as you are the witness, can you add some context?

                    • muzza

                      Voice – The planes had been doing laps, well off shore, and at significantly higher altitude than the plane I was on, off the west coast of the south island…

                      Commercial flights do not traditionally perform in flight laps (unless in a landing holding pattern, or perhaps while dumping fuel), nor is there a commercial flight route headed north south, or south north off the west coast of the south island!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Ok, you’re at 35k and they’re above you doing tricks. Where were you heading?

                    • muzza

                      I was heading up the west coast back to AKL, and as a result of the flight I was on, was already on the western most (north/south) commercial flight path, for jet engined planes in NZ airspace.

                    • McFlock

                      Maritime surveillance?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Ok, I’m happy to take your word for it, but it sounds pretty unlikely that anything was above you, other than planes heading for Oz, and as you have nothing more than an incident you cannot explain, it doesn’t really add anything to the debate, does it?

                      One possibilty does occur to me, fighters or transports from ours or the Aussie airforce on an exercise. I say Aussie, coz I don’t think we’ve got anything capable of getting up above 35k anymore!

                    • muzza

                      Ok, I’m happy to take your word for it, but it sounds pretty unlikely that anything was above you, other than planes heading for Oz,

                      Voice, people will know what these planes were doing (whatever it was), and where they were from, and where they were headed.

                      and as you have nothing more than an incident you cannot explain, it doesn’t really add anything to the debate, does it?

                      Actually I’ve explained it well, and have video and photos of what I saw. When I compare it to the 5 x I have seen and filmed over planes spraying over AKL, I know what was going on off the west coast, and the options of what its being done for, will be few.

                      I would rather this was NOT happening, but it is, there are too many people nationally and globally filming and documenting what they are seeing, and its only a matter of time before it will have to come out, although in reality, it already has been dripped into the media in various ways for years.

                      The NZ Air Force , last checked had 2 Boeing 757 planes which can fly above 35k feet.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      I’m buying shares in tinfoil.

                    • TheContrarian

                      A whole shitload of assumptions from Muzza.

                      Commercial jets have many routes they can fly depending on weather on air traffic.

                      Are you a pilot muzza?

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      It’s spelled “pillock”.

                    • muzza

                      TC -An advantage of reading, learning and do-ing, is that it allows one to understand the realities of what they are talking about.

                      Another advantage is NZ’s geographic location, in relation to commercial flight routes, in that there are limitations as to the airlines, flight paths etc which fly domestically and internationally, around, through and across NZ.

                      Perhaps ask yourself this TC – Based on my descriptions above, which departure and arrival points, on a commercial flight route, might airlines be flying off the west coast of the south island, in a north/south heading?

                      Antarctica/South Pole perhaps, or would that be an extended route into Invercargill International Airport – And yes I fly planes!

                      @ OAB – Not sure what your contribution is all about, but its not changing/preventing anything which is going on!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Even older 747’s can cruise at 42,000 or 43,000 feet no worries. It’s a waste of fuel as throttles have to be kept forward, but quite do-able.

                      The question is, if an ordinary commercial flight passenger noticed weird behaviour from planes thousands of feet above…what do you think the pilot and co-pilot of that commercial flight thought about it???

                    • TheContrarian

                      “An advantage of reading, learning and do-ing, is that it allows one to understand the realities of what they are talking about.”

                      indeed – but if you are reading only bullshit your only going to learn bullshit. I have read and watched the same chemtrail things you have muzza.

                      All you have is assumptions. Because YOU don’t understand why a plane might be in the place you saw it you assume there is no other explanation other than the one you believe to be true.

                      “Based on my descriptions above, which departure and arrival points, on a commercial flight route, might airlines be flying off the west coast of the south island, in a north/south heading?”

                      You know I have flow to Auckland on several different routes dependent on weather and air traffic. I have flow up the East Coast from Queenstown as well as the West coast. All these are irrelevancies though and in no way prove any chemtraling whatsoever.

                      A you a commercial pilot Muzza? Passenger jets?

                    • TheContrarian

                      “The question is, if an ordinary commercial flight passenger noticed weird behaviour from planes thousands of feet above…what do you think the pilot and co-pilot of that commercial flight thought about it???”

                      And air traffic control, as well as our own military. And don’t say “the response I was, the pilot did not see anything” because the pilot has radar and would be aware of other planes in the vicinity.

                    • muzza

                      TC – You are not answering the questions, so this is where I leave it until you do – Read further up for my descriptions about what response I got from the pilot etc

                      indeed – but if you are reading only bullshit your only going to learn bullshit. I have read and watched the same chemtrail things you have muzza.

                      I was referring to learning how to fly planes!

                      All you have is assumptions. Because YOU don’t understand why a plane might be in the place you saw it you assume there is no other explanation other than the one you believe to be true.

                      No, I understand well that those planes were not flying commercial routes, and as stated I have pictures of the trails they were laying. When I match this to the footage taken around NZ, and that I have taken in AKL many times, I come to my own conclusions based on what I have seen only. AFAIAA, my footage taken while on a commercial flight is the only footage of its type. There will be more like it around, I imagine, but I have not seen any!

                      “Based on my descriptions above, which departure and arrival points, on a commercial flight route, might airlines be flying off the west coast of the south island, in a north/south heading?”

                      You know I have flow to Auckland on several different routes dependent on weather and air traffic. I have flow up the East Coast from Queenstown as well as the West coast. All these are irrelevancies though and in no way prove any chemtraling whatsoever.

                      TC – Have you flown into Auckland well off the west coast of the south island, turned around done laps, then headed west again!!!

                      A you a commercial pilot Muzza? Passenger jets?

                      I do not have a commercial license.

                    • McFlock

                      Muzz,
                      Assuming that your identification of the altitude, type and location/flight pattern of the aircraft is correct, here are some reasons an aircraft might be loitering/ “flying laps”:

                      training flight (especially nav point-to-point)
                      Weather/scientific data gathering
                      Scenic flight
                      Fisheries patrol
                      Antarctic flight recalled en route due to poor weather at SP

                      Even anti-piracy surveillance for a low profile but high-value cargo ship (e.g. nuclear fuel in transit)

                      Oh, and “chem trails”, of course.

                    • muzza

                      McFlock, there are plenty of reasons, I agree.

                      Thing is, what I saw is what I have seen over AKL, and elsewhere and for those in AKL central now, go take a look at whats happenig in the sky, its messed right up!

                    • TheContrarian

                      “TC – You are not answering the questions”

                      For the second time – what haven’t I answered?

                      “I was referring to learning how to fly planes!”

                      What does knowing how to fly have to do with anything?

                      “No, I understand well that those planes were not flying commercial routes. ”

                      How do you know they weren’t commercial routes? Explain how they were not commercial routes?

                      “and as stated I have pictures of the trails they were laying”

                      You have pictures of contrails and pictures are evidence of anything more than contrails.

                      “I come to my own conclusions based on what I have seen only”

                      Your own conclusions are not evidence of anything.

                      “TC – Have you flown into Auckland well off the west coast of the south island, turned around done laps, then headed west again!!”

                      So you saw this from a plane? How long were you in the plane for? You must have been near motionless to observe this from the sky. Not to mention there has been a lot of this going on since the Canturbury earthquake:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeromagnetic_survey
                      Not to mention the government has had planes survying for mining in recent years.

                      A picture and a personal anecdote is not evidence, Muzza.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “go take a look at whats happenig in the sky, its messed right up!”

                      I am not in Auckland but I am going to take stab and say what you are looking at are clouds.

                    • muzza

                      Unanswered, an example below.

                      “TC – Have you flown into Auckland well off the west coast of the south island, turned around done laps, then headed west again!!”

                      What does knowing how to fly have to do with anything?

                      Yeah, thats where I leave you to it TC!

                    • TheContrarian

                      Muzza – you asked that question in the same post as accusing me of not answering questions. So I ask again – which previous questions had I not answered?

                      And lets review your evidence:

                      Photo
                      Personal anecdote
                      Opinions

                      Yeah…mind-blowing…

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Do not feed the Tar Baby.

        • One Tāne Huna 4.1.1.2

          weather manipulation via aerosole spraying

          It’s public knowledge that this happened in New Zealand from Nov – Feb 1995 – 1996! Shock! Horror!

          accelerating the impacts of climate change… [patronising drivel omitted]

          Got a link for that, tinfoil?

        • TheContrarian 4.1.1.3

          “talked about in the MSM even”

          Usually in the “what crazy people believe” section

    • Jenny 4.2

      Of course the great champion of geo-engineering to solve climate change was…. wait for it……. George Bush.

      Of course George Bush being an oil millionaire had something to do with it.

      Geo-engineering the perfect con job to allow CO2 emissions to continue without any constraint.

      The true beauty of futuristic pie in the sky geo-engineering schemes is that they are to be left to the future.

      Geo-engineering is the future solution to climate change and always will be.

  5. ad 5

    Electricity retailers can still use the “hot water switch” during times of high electricity shortage. So water companies get to use sprinkler bans.

    But should Watercare and other major water and wastewater retailers put up their unit prices to ensure people use less water during this time? After all there is apparently plenty of price elasticity to petrol use.

  6. georgecom 6

    Geo-engineering to offset the impacts of climate change?

    Groan. Large mirrors in space and such like rubbish?

    Maybe we could better concentrate our efforts on trying to slow down climate change. Dealing with the root cause rather than symptoms.

    If I had a large nail sticking through my foot that was causing me pain, I’d rather that a doctor concentrated on trying to remove the nail ratehr than on prescribing pain killers to deal with the discomfort.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Dom Post Today (front page) 20 Days of water left for Wellington, Hutt and Porirua if no sufficient rain
    Drought-affected dairy stock being dried-off two months early-“big drop in gross income”
    in HB, Agricultural Contractors cannot drill paddocks; soil too hard.
    (guess NAct will add this event onto the earthquake as rationales for poor economic performance)
    read that Eurozone in a “triple-dip” and projected to remain in recession until 2014

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Well that ’20 days left’ is a based on a worst-case scenario if nothing changes. Probably we’ll get by for 30-40 days, but if we wait for that long to do something the horse will have well bolted by then. At that point the taps will run dry. And stay that way until it rains.

      More probably there will be ‘water rationing’, ie total outside water use bans, pressure reductions, or actually turning zones off for most of the day, implemented within several weeks. These measures will make a big difference.

      I’d offer an informed estimate that the chances of actually running Wellington out of water completely is maybe 5-10%, not high, but not negligible either. This is wholly new territory that New Zealand is not well prepared for…

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        5% probability of your nation’s capital running dry in the next month or two is pretty damn scary.

        Why aren’t the water saving edicts coming into force right now?

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          There is already a total sprinkler ban in force as from the last weekend.

          But so far there was not a lot of point in more draconian measures because demand could be supplied from what was in the rivers while storage was still full. ie we could have saved water but we had no place to put it and it would have just been ‘lost’ down the river anyway.

          However the rivers and aquifers are dropping rapidly and to meet current demand levels this will force us to start consuming our limited storage within 5-7 days. At that point really stringent restrictions become useful and appropriate.

          People will be asked to start using much less, the kind of really intrusive measures that the Australians are used to. For instance; if you are going to have a shower, put the plug in the bath, turn the shower on, get wet. Turn it off. Soap up. Then rinse off. Get out dry off, and use the water in the bath on your indoor pot plants.

  8. Georgy 8

    “Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s climate change. ”

    When you say this do you mean it is because the climate is changing naturally, or do you mean it is changing because of human intervention [i dont mean geo-engineering, rather pollution and mismanagement of resources]?

    The newspapers report this drought as the worst drought in out history – when did droughts prior to 2008 occur? Were they caused by “climate change”?

    • TheContrarian 8.1

      I am not sure it is possible to point to a single event in isolation and say “this is solely due to man-made climate change”.

      We look for trends and the trends would strongly suggest the the climate she is a changin’

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      The newspapers report this drought as the worst drought in out history – when did droughts prior to 2008 occur? Were they caused by “climate change”?

      Yes there were droughts prior to 2008.

      No, none of them appear to have been as severe or as widespread as this one.

  9. AFEWMORETHEKNOWTHETRUTH 9

    I’m totally gobsmacked at the depths of ignorance about Climate Change shown on these postings. You are either in 100% denial or you’re just plain fing stupid guys! :-(

    • Jenny 9.1

      Good to see you back, Few. However I would turn down the outrage a tad. And turn up the facts and figures that you are so good at.

      (leave the outrage to me)

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        Any suggested solutions are good too.

        • johnm 9.1.1.1

          Just my opinion Jenny re climate change. There isn’t a solution positive feedbacks and the existing inertia (that sounds good! :-) ) of the previous 30 years of emissions mean we’re headed for a new stable hot state (re. Lovelock) for the Planet, it’s out of our hands now. Adaptation is the way to go.

      • johnm 9.1.2

        Hi Jenny

        Re AFEWMORETHEKNOWTHETRUTH. The wording is different to afewknowthetruth, so we can conclude they’re are not the same person, though the opinion would be the same if it were him !

  10. trickledrown 10

    where is Steve Wrathall hiding in his rat hole!
    In October he was saying NZ will mis out on the drought that has effected large swathes of the planet.
    That we were lucky to have plentiful rain fall where the hell is he now!

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    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.