Accurate water information is essential for effective water management within our region. National Regulations on the measuring and reporting of water takes were introduced under section 360 of the Resource Management Act in November 2010.
All water take consent holders that take 5 L/s or more are now required to install water meters to monitor their water take. Consent holders granted consent after 10 November 2010 will need to comply with the new regulations immediately. Existing water take consent holders have 2-6 years to comply depending on how much water they take which is outlined in the table below.
|Water Consent||Date for compliance with regulations|
All consents granted 10 November 2010 or later (includes new or 'replacement' consent)
|From the day that water is first taken under the resource consent.|
|20L/s or more||from 10 November 2012.|
|10L/s or more but less than 20L/s||from 10 November 2014.|
|5L/s or more but less than 10L/s||from 10 November 2016.|
|Less than 5L/s||Not required to comply|
- An overview of everything you need to know about the regulations is available from the Ministry for the Environment website.
- More information is available on the Irrigation NZ website
Contact our Resource Consent team if you would like to know what changes are involved for you.
The right meter for the job
A water meter allows you to accurately measure the rate and the quantity of water being taken under the conditions of your consent. It is also a valuable tool in helping you to understand your water use and improving pasture or orchard efficiency.
There are many water meters on the market, so choosing and correctly installing the right meter for your situation is essential.
Meters need to have an accuracy of +/- 5% be sealed and tamper proof and be suited to the quality of the water it is measuring. They also need to be able to provide data in a form suitable for electronic storage.
You will also need to consider what the flow range will be, meter power requirements, access, maintenance requirements and cost.
This table is designed as a basic guide to water meter selection. Contact your supplier for more information. Always ensure you choose a meter that complies with the conditions of your consent.
|Specifications||Electromagnetic Flowmeter||Ultrasonic meters||Mechanical flow meters|
|Accuracy||+/- 0.15% - 2%||Better than +/- 2%||+/- 2-5%|
|Average lifespan||20 years||15 years||4 years|
|Power requirement||Yes or solar/battery||Yes or solar/battery||No|
|Suitable for surface water (silt, weed)||Yes||Yes||No|
Meter installations and verification
Your meter needs to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications so that it reads as accurately as possible.
Ideally the meter will be installed with a sufficient straight length of pipe between gate valves, elbows etc and the meter. This ensures there is no turbulence in the water passing through the meter. This may require a pipe length of 10 times the pipe diameter before the meter and five times the pipe diameter after the meter - but check the requirements of your meter first.
An incorrect installation might look like this:
A correct installation might look like this:
Read through your consent conditions for specific requirements.
The installed meter also needs to be verified by someone who is qualified in the Council's opinion to perform this work.
The Irrigation NZ website provides information on 'Blue Tick' approved installed water meter verifiers.
Use the Water Meter Verification Template (101.9KB, pdf).