National want Northland back

Previous drought in 2013

The drought in Northland has just been declared a medium-scale adverse event, which triggers additional support for struggling farmers.

“This is recognition of the extreme dry conditions farmers and growers are facing,” Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said on Friday. Read more »


How dodgy is the dodgy socialist dam?

It appears it is very, very, very dodgy. Bruce Bisset explains in the HB Today:

Bizarre farce, corporate heist, democratic dysfunction – call it what you will, but despite six years in development the facts attempting to explain just how the Ruataniwha water storage scheme will work and who must shoulder the cost if it doesn’t are only just beginning to emerge.

And, as sick of the entire mess as we might be, all Hawke’s Bay ratepayers will be sicker once they understand what those facts are – because your wallets, dear readers, and your town and country assets, are on the line.

And this is the point: most people in Hawkes Bay, those who will have to pay for it, don’t know the full story.

Yes, I mean mortgaging the Port of Napier. That’s already a done deal. I have heard that it was apparently a done deal back in 2009 when, after talks with Alan Dick, the Minister of Finance had the clear impression port monies would pay for the RWSS.

And yes, I mean the extensive and expensive irrigation systems farmers taking water from the scheme will install, because the whole shebang could implode if it can’t be made – every year of its working life – to meet the environmental and other conditions stipulated by the Board of Inquiry.

Currently, despite what some might have you believe, the ability of the scheme to meet those conditions is very uncertain, in part because the regional council has not instigated the independent expert panel it was required to set up to review aspects of the scheme as it progressed – such as the (revised) dam design.

Read more »

As night follows day

As I portended in my article on the drought yesterday, the probability of the electricity generators threatening price increases and famers going on the bludge is more or less one.

Hydro lake levels are falling and wholesale power prices rising as drought threatens in parts of the country.

The country’s biggest hydro generator, Meridian, said its Lake Pukaki storage was just below average, at 94 per cent, and Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau were in the middle of the main normal range.

“We are comfortable with the current situation. As always, we are keeping a close eye on conditions,” a spokesman said.

Meridian’s operating report for December shows its inflows last month were 81 per cent of average.

In its main Waitaki catchment, storage dropped from 99 per cent of average to 91 per cent during the month. Inland eastern areas of the South Island have been particularly dry.

Mighty River Power said that while industry-wide national storage was 93 per cent of average, storage at Lake Taupo, which feeds its Waikato River network of stations, was above average.

Transpower has oversight of the electricity system and says that while there had been a fall in storage to below average in the South Island, the risk of shortages over the next eight to 10 weeks remains low.

Let’s recap:  wholesale prices are rising because of the drought, yet the lakes are all just a smidgen below average, and the big bosses are all ‘comfortable’.

With a lake at 9% under average, they are “predicting” big trouble 10 weeeks from now.  10 weeks, because two and a half months sounds too long, and that nearly takes us into April.

There is exactly zero need to put electricity prices up.

At the same time the climate alarmists are all moaning about the drought, but last week they were moaning about dairy prices slumping because of global warming.  What do you think will happen to dairy prices if the drought continues?


– Grant Bradley, NZ Herald

Some things Key can’t be blamed for, nor can he fix

via Stuff

via Stuff

The lack of rain in certain parts of the country is starting to bite.  It’s all very well to have petrol under $1.60 a litre, but with lifestock staring at dusty paddocks, a stronger dollar and low payouts, things aren’t looking good.

“There’s no sign of any rain in the forecast anywhere ahead and so we can only expect that things are going to get worse before they get better,” says Phil Wishnowsky, Wairarapa Principal Fire Officer.

Some rivers and streams are running very low in Tararua, Manawatu, Wanganui and Rangitikei.

Water for irrigation is being rationed, while residents are also being urged to conserve every drop. Read more »


Photo Of The Day

Image: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters A worker is seen inside the Cuncas II tunnel that will link the canals being built to divert water from the Sao Francisco river for use in four drought-plagued states, a project that is three years behind schedule and has doubled in cost from the original estimate of $3.4 billion, near the city of Mauriti, Ceara state, Brazil, Jan. 28, 2014.

Image: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
A worker is seen inside the Cuncas II tunnel that will link the canals being built to divert water from the Sao Francisco river for use in four drought-plagued states, a project that is three years behind schedule and has doubled in cost from the original estimate of $3.4 billion, near the city of Mauriti, Ceara state, Brazil, Jan. 28, 2014.

Darkness at the End of Brazil’s Great Water Tunnel

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Pascal Maitre/National Geographic

Photo: Pascal Maitre/National Geographic

Lost in the Sahel

  Read more »

Typical Bloody Farmers

They whinge that we are having a drought, now they are whinging that the rain is falling in the wrong place.

The heavy downpours which have brought flooding to parts of Auckland and Wellington have not hit farming areas most desperate for rain, Federated Farmers says.

The wild weather left more than 1000 homes without power in Auckland last night, and the deluge reportedly blew out manhole covers on some Wellington roads.

But Federated Farmers adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne said while the rain had broken the drought in most parts of the country, the exceptions were the areas which had been affected the longest.  Read more »

Why isn’t Metiria Turei demanding economic relief?

via ODT

via ODT

The drought has hit the farmers hard.  Yields are down, and times are tough.  And I just can’t understand why Metiria Turei isn’t up in arms fighting for the hard working entrepreneurs that are the economic backbone of…

Hang on, let me start at the beginning

Read more »

Drought is connected with “Climate Change” and increasing…not so fast

Despite the glorious rainfall today there are still claims by many that the drought currently being experienced by most of the country is somehow linked with climate change and that we should get used to this. Perhaps we should stop listening to NIWA, the assorted climate alarmists and start listening to Princeton and Australian National University:

Released late last year (November) by Princeton and ANU:

A series of recent droughts from Australia to the United States has led some scientists to warn that global warming has already begun to increase worldwide drought. But new research from Princeton and the Australian National University in Canberra has found that this might not be the case…..

…A new analysis of drought conditions over the past 50 years has yielded a nuanced view of global trends. Red areas have experienced increasing levels of drought while blue areas have become less prone to dry conditions. Overall, there has been less of a trend toward drought globally than previously thought, Princeton researchers have found. (Image courtesy of Justin Sheffield)….

….The greater detail of the Princeton model does mean it is more difficult to use and requires a far greater amount of data than other estimates. In fact, the researchers said the data requirements precluded its widespread use by climate scientists until relatively recently, when better satellite coverage and improvements in global data from ground weather stations provided more extensive and reliable estimates of meteorological variables such as precipitation, humidity and wind speed…..

So two questions:

When did Salinger leave NIWA?

Does NIWA used the discredited Palmer Drought Index or are they using the new Princeton Model?

Here comes the rain

via Metservice

via Metservice

There have been sporadic reports on Social Media today of people reporting some rain, only to update that status minutes later to say it’s all over.

I’ve been keeping an eye on Metservice’s rain radar, and over the last few hours yellow and blue stuff has been coming in.

It  looks like Taranaki and Nelson/Marlborough may get the first lot of rain.

If you want to keep an eye on progress yourself, click here.