Media release

Media release: Warning for Waiwera water levels

Friday 27 January 2023

The Otago Regional Council has issued a warning about low river levels in the Waiwera River, Lower Clutha, despite the small amount of rain forecast for this area over this weekend and early next week.

The Waiwera River, a tributary of the Clutha River, is flowing at approximately half of minimum flow levels. This area is used by trout and eel for spawning and is a significant habitat for Roundhead Galaxiid.


Low water levels Waiwera river Clinton


ORC General Manager Regulatory and Communications Richard Saunders said council staff will visit the area early next week to assess the condition of the river and speak to members of the community who take water from the Waiwera.

“Due to the low levels in the river we are encouraging people to be mindful of the conditions and to actively monitor how much water they are taking in this situation.

“Consented users of surface water have already had to cease taking water from the beginning of January due to the dry weather.”

Mr Saunders said that once this information has been gathered, the team can make a plan around next steps.

“We know that the community is already very conscious of the water they are using. Visits from our staff will just reinforce the message around water conservation and also give ORC a better understanding of the volume of permitted water takes occurring.

“If the water levels continue to drop, we may need to put more restrictions on water takes in the coming months. This is not a decision that is made lightly and we will continue to communicate with the community on this issue.”

Mr Saunders said the Waitahuna River was also hovering in and out of minimum flows since Wednesday and they would continue to monitor the river.

“We continue to monitor all areas of the region during this dry period and will advise the community of any additional areas of concern.”


Live water flow information

Water monitoring flow summary

Waiwera River at Maws Farm