Water Restrictions

Water restrictions are important to manage our water supply wells when there is a long, hot dry spell of weather. 

We have adopted a phased approach to water restrictions, which recognises that some people rely on their vegetable gardens for food. There are also different restrictions for residential, commercial / industrial, schools and sports clubs, and the Council.

Full water restrictions table [PDF, 122 KB]

Residential restrictions

Commercial and industrial users

Schools and private sports clubs

Gore District Council


Water FAQs


The Mataura River flows through the middle of Gore, so why do we have restrictions?

Water is not an unlimited resource and while the Mataura River will always have water in it, the flow can get so low that we have to put restrictions in place to comply with Environment Southland’s regulations.  The main source for Gore’s water Cooper’s Wells draws water from an aquifer that is influenced by the level of the Mataura River. This means if there’s no rainfall in the headwaters of the river and the water flow gets low, the water level in the wells drops. 


Where does Gore and Mataura’s water come from?

Gore has two water sources, both located north of the town. One is on the west side of the Mataura River and is known as the Jacobstown Well. There is also a source on the east side of the river known as Cooper’s Wells. Mataura’s water comes from the Pleura Dam while the Waikana Stream is a secondary source in times of high demand or dry periods.


What happens if the wells or dam get low?

We are allowed to lay emergency pipelines from the river to pump water into the aquifer, which in turn tops up the wells. Mataura has an emergency pump that takes water from the river directly to the treatment plant. Pumping from the river is only for emergencies and can cause issues with the taste and odour of the water even though it is treated to our required standards.


Do restrictions mean I can’t wash my car during the summer?

No, it just means that you may be only allowed to use the hose during certain times, or have to use a bucket of water when it’s really bad.


If we get a day’s rain in Gore are restrictions lifted?

No. It takes more than a day or two of rain to recharge our wells. There also needs to be sustained rainfall in the headwaters of the Mataura River, not just in Gore, for river levels to rise.


If there is a leak on the road or footpath what should I do?

Please ring us immediately on (03) 209 0330 so we can start the process to get it fixed. It is important to be as specific as you can about where the leak is, how much water there is and whether it’s a toby tap or water main. We use this information to prioritise the work.


Will a leak be fixed straight away once it has been reported?

Not necessarily. We need permission before we can dig up certain streets or roads in Gore. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and the public, documentation stating where we will dig, what day and how long it may take to repair the leak has to be signed off before any work is undertaken.  A major water main break is classified as an emergency and the road can be dug up immediately.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz