Rain, rain nowhere, and not a drop to drink anyway…

New Zealand’s problem just now is it’s not very green. It’s brown. And yellow.

After four summers washed out by relentless rain, 2013 has opened with a one-in-seventy-year drought. Wellington region is especially hit – the municipal water supply is at crisis level. Any external use, even a watering can, is strictly forbidden – and they’re pinging people who transgress. We had a present locally last week in the form of two-and-a-bit days rain. But not enough – it sufficed only to wash rubbish into the system – throwing Wellington, where I live, on to its 10-day emergency supply.

The other Saturday I went to have a look at the Hutt River – Te Awakairangi, also called the Heretaunga river. Or, to anybody who’s seen The Fellowship of the Ring, Anduin.

The Hutt river. An American frontier-style fort was built on the bank on the left of this picture in the late 1840s. There's no trace now, of course.
The Hutt river. An American frontier-style fort was built on the bank on the left of this picture in the late 1840s. There’s no trace now, of course. What this picture doesn’t convey is the stagnant smell.
The Hutt river, looking south towards the rail bridge. Usually there's a lot more water in it than this.
The Hutt river, looking south towards the rail bridge. Usually there’s a lot more water in it than this. Its pakeha name comes from Sir William Hutt (1801-1882), one of the shareholders of the New Zealand Company.

It’s the main source for most of Wellington region’s water. And it’s virtually dry.

Worse, New Zealand also generates a big chunk of our power with water, down south. That’s not in good order either. I’ve got a post coming up on our nifty eco-friendly hydro-power engineering. But that won’t fill the storage lakes.

Time, I think, to plan Laundry Day. That usually spurs rain. At least if I’m involved.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013

Coming up this week: more writing posts – ‘sixty second writing tips’ and ‘write it now’. More geekery. And, aside from blogging, rain… I hope.


9 thoughts on “Rain, rain nowhere, and not a drop to drink anyway…

    1. It’s been good in a way, not to have another summer washed out. But it’s got ridiculous now. We’ve got some rain forecast for early next week – need about a week of it, now, to relieve the drought.

  1. I kind of know how you feel, in a general sense — a very general sense. Where I am in Texas is already getting fire warnings. We’re getting more wind and less rain, and I hate it. We joke around that my husband brought the California weather with him when we moved (he’s from California, I’m from Texas).

    Anyway, hope y’all get some much-needed liquid relief of the falling-from-the-sky variety ASAP.

    1. Thank you. It’s clouding over this evening – typically, I just did the laundry… :-) But nothing to object to, and we’ve rain forecast for later in Easter weekend. Not a lot, certainly not enough to fix the reservoirs, but it’ll be some relief.

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