Media release

Heavy rainfall for the Otago Lakes and headwaters has eased

Wednesday 27 March 2019

MetService has now lifted the warning for heavy rainfall for the headwaters of the Otago Lakes. The front that brought heavy rainfall has moved to the north and rainfall has eased significantly in the Otago Lakes and headwaters.

River levels in the Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea catchments have peaked and are now receding. The rate of rise for lake levels in Wakatipu and Wanaka is now decreasing, and water levels are not expected to increase significantly during the day. Lake levels will remain high for the next few days.

ORC Manager Natural Hazards Dr Jean-Luc Payan noted that high flows from headwaters will now travel downstream.

“This will increase flows in the Lower Clutha catchment, but the extra volume is expected to be well contained by the river.

ORC staff will continue to monitor the situation and issue further updates as required,” said Dr Payan.

River level and rainfall information is available via the ORC website: or by phoning 0800 426 463.