The annual drawdown of Lake Rotoiti will re-commence at 5pm on July 10 following the postponement of a first attempt in June due to weather.
“Unfortunately due to recent heavy rain events, the last attempt at drawdown was called off,” Bay of Plenty Regional Council Principal Engineering Surveyor Graeme O’Rourke says.
“We can currently see a window of reasonably fine weather ahead between July 10 and 18, and we will undertake the drawdown then.”
During this time, the Okere Gates will be fully opened to lower lake levels. River flows will be very high and the public are reminded to exercise caution on the Kaituna River downstream of the Okere Gates.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council lowers the lake by 100mm each year as part of consent guidelines to help facilitate flushing of the Ōhau Channel to help reduce flood risk in the channel. The regional council plans to hold levels at or near the drawdown limit for a few weeks (depending on weather) to facilitate surveys and monitoring and provide time for lake community feedback.
The council has 10-15 percent of each year (36-55 days) to achieve this drawdown.
Graeme encourages anyone with any issues or observations around Lake Rotoiti to note the details and take photos for the record before contacting the council.