New regulations and a number of significant weather events earlier this year mean the South Taranaki district's water supply will likely come under pressure this summer.
The 2021/22 season will likely mark the first time in recent years the council has been required to implement restrictions on the usage of water, according to the council.
Part of the issue stems from Waiaua River catchment, which feeds the Opunake area's water treatment plant.
South Taranaki District Council group manager of community and infrastructure services Fiona Aitken says severe weather events on Mt Taranaki during spring resulted in significant erosion and silting in the river.
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"With heavy rainfall, the river quickly becomes laden with debris and silt which clogs the intake to the water treatment plant and puts severe strain on our ability to treat and process the water," Aitken said.
Further inland, new freshwater regulations mean taking water from the Waingongoro River becomes severely hampered during periods of low rainfall.
"We had to renew our consent for taking water from the Waingongoro River for the Eltham Water Supply. As part of our consent conditions, if the river drops to a certain level, we must introduce water restrictions too - we don't have any option."
Aitken says these new conditions stem from the government's freshwater reforms which have a greater focus on preserving the health and vitality of streams and rivers
"We are fortunate in that we've got enough water to go around, but not enough to waste. We just need people to conserve, fix leaks, use water wisely and not be wasteful.
"If we can do that, we can protect the health of our streams and rivers and get through summer without needing widespread restrictions."