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February 2018 Issue
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Water tanks running dry in hot summer

Huts in Mt Aspiring National Park, including French Ridge Hut, have been running low on water. Photo:Vern/Creative Commons

Huts around the country have been running out of water, as the country has been hit by a sweltering summer and tourism hotspots swell with people.

Four huts in Aspiring National Park had empty water tanks in January, while other huts that had stream-fed water supplies were also out of water as the streams dried up.

Colin Todd, French Ridge, Liverpool and Young huts were all listed as having empty water tanks, but DOC said alternative water sources were available nearby.

Central Otago senior community ranger Annette Grieve said Aspiring and Siberia huts were also very low, despite being fed by streams, and campsites in the Haast Pass were having to get water pumped to them from nearby sources.

Grieve said it had been an unusually dry summer and there were no plans to expand the water tanks at the huts.

Earlier in the season, Pouakai Hut on Mt Taranaki was also low on water, and DOC was advising trampers to carry water in. Community supervisor Mike Tapp said a new 3000-litre water tank was installed at the hut in December.

“It’s really unusual for Taranaki,” he said. “Water isn’t usually a concern, but even the visitor centre is low.”

In the Nelson region, Coldwater Hut had an empty water tank and shelters on the Queen Charlotte Track were also out of water.