Water restrictions - Q & A

Water restrictions - What you need to know

Southland District Council water restrictions are in place throughout the District until further notice.

Why has SDC imposed District-wide water restrictions?

Water restrictions have been imposed because the current warm weather and increased demand for water has put stress on our water infrastructure, including town reservoirs and water treatment plants.

What does ‘water restrictions’ actually mean - and how does it affect my property?

Water restrictions mean residents cannot use automated sprinkler systems, cannot leave hoses running unattended, cannot use water for prolonged periods of time – for example, filling swimming pools or washing boats and cars etc.

Where do the restrictions apply?

Restrictions apply to the following townships where Southland District Council produces drinkable water for the public to consume.

•             Winton                                       

•             Otautau

•             Riverton

•             Tuatapere

•             Wyndham/Edendale

•             Lumsden/Balfour

•             Eastern Bush/Otahu Flat (treated rural water supply)

•             Orawia

•             Manapouri

•             Te Anau

•             Mossburn

•             Ohai/Nightcaps/Wairio


How long will District-wide water restrictions be in place?

Water usage in each township is being monitored by Council’s water and waste services team on a daily basis. Water restrictions will be removed should a stable and significant reduction in water usage become evident.

A reassessment of water restrictions will made later this week by senior water and waste services staff.


What happens if I notice property residents failing to follow the introduced water restrictions?

Please call Southland District Council’s customer support staff on 0800 732 732.

Why can farmers continue to operate their irrigation systems when we’re being asked to conserve water?

Farmers’ water activities are not related to Council’s District-wide water restrictions.

There are numerous farms and commercial properties throughout the District that obtain their own water from their own water source such as a bore. This is a private arrangement between the farmer and Environment Southland requiring a water permit, and has nothing to do with Southland District Council.

Te Anau has a lake that is full of water. Why can’t we just pump more water?

Council pumps from shallow groundwater bores on the lakefront, not directly from the lake. This includes a current consent to extract water from these bores across the District, and Council must comply with the rules and regulations outlined in each of the respective water permits. As a water authority and local government organisation SDC must be seen to be acting responsibly to protect each of our water supplies and to comply with the conditions of the Resource Management Act.

Just pumping more water is not the answer.


What happens if people ignore the water restrictions and keep using water irresponsibly?

Repeat offenders will be in breach of Council’s Water Supply Bylaw and will be formally and verbally notified to stop. Failure to do so can result in infringement fines of up to $20,000, in accordance with Section 242(4) of the Local Government Act 2002.

What about Council’s rural water supply schemes?

Council operates rural water supplies in the following locations (predominantly around the Te Anau basin).  These schemes are for stock water only.

•             Matuku

•             Duncraigen

•             Princhester

•             Ramparts

•             Mt York

•             Takitimu

•             Homestead

•             Five Rivers

•             Kakapo


All of the above rural water supplies are for stock water supplies only, and are not suitable for drinking water.

Scheme users are reminded 48 hours of on-site storage is required for each respective water allocation and water restrictors are not to be tampered with, as water theft  is a breach of our Water Supply Bylaw and affects other scheme users.