The dry weather is starting to bite in rural communities around the Horizons region, with water restrictions in place, and river and streams approaching record low levels.

Horizons Regional Council says rural communities should prepare for further dry conditions.

Environmental data manager Brent Watson said some rivers and streams are getting close to record low levels for this time of year and no significant rainfall is expected in the next two weeks.

"This means we will not be able to lift water restrictions any time soon and more zones will drop into restriction over the next few days," Watson said.


"We are encouraging rural communities to start seriously thinking about what measures they need to put in place to cope.

"Horizons' environmental data and science staff are actively monitoring the situation across the region and are undertaking a number of detailed catchment monitoring projects, as critical low flow levels are reached."

Senior environmental scientist water allocation Raelene Mercer said 123 consent holders that take surface water for activities such as irrigation and town supply are having to cease or reduce their activity.

"The majority of these water take consents are electronically monitored and available in near real time to Horizons staff and consent holders, with summary information reported on daily," Mercer said.

"It is really important that consent holders are vigilant and ensure they are adhering to their conditions as we take infringement very seriously. We highly recommend those with telemetered takes register on our Watermatters website so they can check their relevant minimal flow and water use volumes.

"While stock drinking water and domestic supply is permitted, we'd like to remind everyone to conserve water as much as they can in these areas also."

Senior emergency management co-ordinator Ross Brannigan said drying conditions can put a lot of pressure on landowners.

"Horizons will be working with the Manawatū-Whanganui Rural Coordination Group to keep them informed of the situation. There is support networks available for those that are struggling and we'd like to remind landowners to reach out if they need it."


Urban communities are also being asked to conserve water, with many local city or district councils having restrictions in place.

"Those who have their own water tank supply may want to consider checking their levels before too long," Watson said.

"People going for a swim to cool off may also start to notice that the river is not smelling as fresh as it normally does, or an increased level of algae. This is likely to be due to low flows and warm conditions; however, we encourage people to check for the latest Horizons E.coli and cyanobacteria results before diving in."