As Summer in New Zealand quickly approaches, rain levels leading up to the season have been off by 50% in Marlborough on the South Island. This has led to decreased water levels in the lakes and reservoirs, causing hydro power plants to raise electricity prices.
Canterbury’s Rangitata and Waimakariri rivers haven’t been this low this early in summer for 20 years, according to local government estimates. Flows in the Wairau River, the largest in Marlborough, last month fell to the lowest in 40 years.
“At the moment we’re seeing conditions that we wouldn’t usually see until February or March, said Mike Ede, a hydrologist at Marlborough District Council. “The flows into some of the rivers in November, and certainly from August through November, were the lowest on record.”
It might be a good idea to stock up on some Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the area before their prices reflect these issues.