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Parts of Canty drier than height of summer

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/05/2016 Cleo Fraser

The parched rolling hills covered in straw-like grass on the outskirts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are a clear reminder of the dry conditions facing the area.

Groundwater levels are at a record low and rivers and streams are drying up due to a lack of rain over the past few months.

There are also concerns about the risk of fire as the Port Hills and the Banks Peninsula are drier than they were at the height of summer.

Christchurch received just 15mm of rain in April, well below average, according to NIWA's National Climate Centre.

Rob Meek from Christchurch City Council says water restrictions could be introduced on the Banks Peninsula.

"The low rainfall throughout Canterbury has large implications on the extraction and delivery of water to Banks Peninsula," he said.

He said stream flows are a third of what they were at the start of the year and half what they were this time last year.

Carl Hanson from Environment Canterbury said groundwater levels would continue to fall if the area experienced another dry winter.

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