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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!

                    • 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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  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
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    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
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    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
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    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
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    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
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    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
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    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
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    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
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    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
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    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
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    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
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    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
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    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
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    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
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    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
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    5 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
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    5 days ago