Taranaki's rainfall light for month of January

January was a fairly dry month for Taranaki, with the region receiving on average 71 per cent of normal rainfall.

At Waiwhakaiho in Egmont Village 112.5mm rain was measured for January, which is 79 per cent of rainfall for the same month last year, while Inglewood measured 126.5mm, 86 per cent on January 2012.

Stratford had 12 rain days measuring 90mm (78 per cent) and Toko (Huinga) 10 rain days with 50mm falling amounting to 56 per cent on January last year.

"This lack of rain has definitely had an effect on Taranaki rivers, with mean (average) river flows being all well down on previous years, and similarly water temperatures being around or above normal average levels," says Andrew Cotter, hydrology officer at Taranaki Regional Council.

Many water users from streams and rivers have been asked to conserve water, or cease abstracting water.

"The public are urged to conserve water where possible."

Soil moistures are on average, drier than previous January figures, however there were no new low records set for the month.

The Stratford District may however, again avoid water restriction this year with water supply still at good levels.

"There are no concerns regarding water levels at this point, "as long as there is snow on the mountain, we are fine", - says Stratford District Council community and environmental services director Mike Avery.

"However, there isn't that much snow left, so, depending on what the weather does from here we may get away without water restrictions or if we are going to have any, these are likely to occur in late February or thereafter."

Last year was the first in a number of years restrictions did not apply.

- Stratford Press

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