As Waitaha/Canterbury's climate warms, the likelihood of drought is expected to increase and areas that are already dry, such as the Mackenzie Country, will get even drier.
Drought sets in when moisture leaves the soil, through evaporation or plant uptake, faster than it's replenished. The amount of moisture in soil affects how fast and well plants grow. This includes everything from our backyards and playing fields to farmland and crops.
Historically, Waitaha/Canterbury has experienced about 200-250 dry days per year. We can see the effect of this in the golden hues of our landscape.
The drying of our region over the next century is expected to be gradual, with some districts more affected than others.
Our rural areas that sit at the foot of the Southern Alps, from Twizel through to Hanmer Springs, are likely to become some of the country's drought hotspots.
Areas along our coasts and Plains will experience increased drought conditions but to a lesser degree than our high country areas.