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Published: 2013-01-24 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council says it’s keeping a close watch on dry conditions in the region.

“Soil moisture levels in the region are down on normal for this time of year, so we’re keeping an eye on how things go given the potential for any ongoing dry weather to affect farming and other activities,” said chairman Peter Buckley, a north Waikato dairy farmer.

“The conditions this summer were predicted and we’re not hearing any widespread reports of dry weather-related stress amongst the Waikato farming community or elsewhere at this point.

“But, in liaison with other agencies such as the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Rural Support Trust, we’ll continue to keep track of soil moisture and waterway levels, and monitor how the rural community in particular is faring.

“I encourage people to use water wisely given the current conditions.”

Several times in recent years, the regional council has been involved with establishing a multi-agency regional drought committee to coordinate responses to summer drought situations.