Steady rain in Dannevirke on Monday night and light rain throughout yesterday have seen river levels rise and the cancellation of water deliveries from Palmerston North.

Enabling work to facilitate deliveries to Woodville and Dannevirke would remain in place but the deliveries, that were expected to start next week, had been cancelled.

Tararua District Council chief executive Blair King said the council appreciated the support of KiwiRail and Palmerston North City Council for making the water delivery option available. Meanwhile, the rain is forecast to continue for the next three days.

Between Monday night and yesterday morning 12.2mm of rain fell in Dannevirke, according to MetService data.

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Tararua District Council communications manager Mark Maxwell said the overnight rain had raised river levels, particularly in Dannevirke and Woodville.

"Increased flow in the Tamaki River meant water could again be taken from it and this would help increase the supply in the town's reservoir.

"It also meant that in Woodville water could now be taken from the Mangapapa Stream which would enable the impound supply to be replenished."

Had the rainfall been as heavy as predicted it would have caused problems for the council with flooding, slips and dirty river water resulting but fortunately this did not happen.

However, Maxwell said while river levels had improved, water restrictions imposed throughout the district would not be lifted.

"The rain was a real positive for the district but it hasn't allowed us to reduce the total hosing ban and residents need to continue to focus on water conservation."

Maxwell said the closer the country came to moving fully into autumn there would be more rain.

"Council staff continue to monitor water levels and usage and closely watch the weather forecast."

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The council would continue to provide regular updates on what has been a critical shortage of water as drought conditions prevailed.