Drought dampens joy for summer

By Heather McCracken

There's a small problem we're been having in the Times-Age building lately.

It's a lovely, graceful old building but it certainly has its quirks, and one of them is that the cold water is hot.

The water pipes run up the side of the building, and they get hot in the sun, so when you run the cold tap, the water comes out hot. Burning hot.

In the past few days, with the 30C plus temperatures we've had, you could scald yourself on the cold tap if not careful. And it doesn't matter how long you run the water for, the fresh still gets hot as it passed through the searing pipes.

But that's no hardship, really, when you see how some farms in Wairarapa are faring after baking under hot, dry weather for the past couple of months.

On the way to Castlepoint this past weekend, I couldn't believe how brown the landscape had become since my last trip. And those bare hills look very vulnerable to a quick burst of rain stripping them of topsoil.

It may have been a great few weeks for families enjoying the last of the school holidays - warm and clear-skied, with not a great deal of wind - but there hasn't been a lot in the weather reports to make farmers happy.

In Hawke's Bay and East Cape they've been talking drought for weeks, and now we seem to be facing the same prospect.

The conditions are also putting us at high risk of a highly damaging fire - and seeing the devastation that fires have caused around the country in recent days, fingers around the region will be crossed for more rain before we see the same here.


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