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Rotorua lakes hit record levels

Thursday, 19 January 2012 1:00 p.m.

Some of Rotorua's lakes have hit record levels following exceptionally heavy rain in the catchment over the New Year - but some haven't quite reached last summer's records.

Lake Rotomā's water level is the highest it has been for at least 10 years, and Lakes Ōkataina and Rotomahana are at the highest level recorded since the 1970s. Rerewhakaaitu is the highest since the 1960s, however Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti were even higher in January 2011, according to Bay of Plenty Regional Council's data. Lake Ōkāreka is currently at 354.1 metres - 10cm lower than it was in July last year.

Most rainfall data is well above 'normal' levels, some by as much as 380 percent, and levels measured at Ohinekoao at Herepuru Rd is 550 percent above normal.

Regional Council Engineering Manager Colin Meadowcroft said heavy rainfall from late December to early January significantly raised water levels in the district. Lake levels were pre-emptively lowered following MetService Weather Warnings in late December.

"The Ōkere Gates have been fully open and stoplogs have been removed since 30 December to maximise outflows from lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti to reduce lake levels as quickly as possible."

He said the high lake levels could pose some problems for boaties using ramp facilities, and residents may notice some drainage problems due to the high water levels.

"Unfortunately there is little more that the Council can do until lake levels lower naturally," he said.


 For further media information please contact Graeme O'Rourke on 0800 884 880 or Linda Thompson, Senior Communications Advisor, on direct dial 0800 884 881 ext 8149 or (021) 923 339.

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