[11 February/ Otago Daily Times] Nine out of Sixteen of Marlborough’s consent areas have imposed irrigation bans, as conditions in the region are becoming increasingly drier. Blenheim received its lowest rainfall in 85 years for the July 2014 to January 2015 period, whilst other areas are also suffering significantly. In response, the Marlborough branch of Federated Farmers have established a local drought committee, enabling communication to all water users. The Onamalutu Valley’s Northbank fire is largely under control, with the situation still being monitored. Affected farmers are being supported by the Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust.