In pictures: Kiwi farmers show devastating magnitude of North Island drought

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 16 Feb 2020, 12:57PM
A photo taken in Feilding shows the same plot of land four weeks apart and the stark contrast after a month of no rain. Photo / Facebook
A photo taken in Feilding shows the same plot of land four weeks apart and the stark contrast after a month of no rain. Photo / Facebook

In pictures: Kiwi farmers show devastating magnitude of North Island drought

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 16 Feb 2020, 12:57PM

The drought currently affecting New Zealand's North Island is having devastating effects on farmers — and has already dramatically changed the country's landscape.

New Zealand's lush greenery has now turned into the driest of browns as the North Island's thirst for rain continues.

Auckland is about to set a new record for its longest dry spell and forecasters have already warned the upper north is headed for "permanent wilting point".

The New Zealand Drought Index showed severe meteorological drought is widespread across Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato.

Meteorological drought has also emerged in northern Gisborne and northern Canterbury.

Much of the rest of the country is unusually dry, except for the western and lower South Island.

No one illustrates the devastating consequences of this long dry spell better than New Zealand's farmers, who are struggling with the lack of water and its implications to their livelihood, and the survival of cattle.

A post on the NZ Farming Facebook page, which has nearly 200,000 followers, asked people to share images of the situation where they live.

The photos in the comment depict the extent of the drought in the North Island and how shockingly different the landscape looks from your average February.

A photo taken in Feilding shows the same plot of land four weeks apart and the stark contrast after a month of no rain.

Images show the spread of the drought, ranging from Dannevirke to a dry creek in Hawkes Bay.

A commenter from Coroglen says he's never seen anything like it in 48 years.

More than 200 photos were submitted to the thread, revealing the sheer scale of the drought across the North Island, and in some spots in the South Island as well.