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Water Use

Bay of Plenty Regional Council monitor and manage water use in the Bay of Plenty to make sure water supplies do not get too low.  If you wish to use significant amounts of water you may require a Resource Consent. Make sure you check with the Council that you are following regulations correctly for all water use.

Water allocation and consented use

Resource consents allow for water to be allocated amongst different users.  A resource consent will give a maximum amount of water you can take, usually a daily limit in m3, and often we will give a maximum pumping or abstraction rate as well.  The amount of water you can take will depend on a few different factors including:

  • How many other water users there are in your catchment
  • The type of water body you wish to take water from
  • Other uses of this resource such as recreational and cultural purposes
  • The health of the water body you wish to take water from (taking water can sometimes cause water quality issues)
  • The water levels of the catchment

Consent holders are required accurately measure and report on their actual water use at least annually. See information about water metering and how to submit water use data>>

Water catchments

CatchmentA catchment is an area of land where all the surface water (such as rivers, lakes and streams) and groundwater, all flow to one particular watercourse like a major river.

An example of a catchment is the Kaikokopu-Pokopoko-Wharere catchment near Matata (pictured).

All the surface water and groundwater is contained by topography (hills, gullies, ridges, plains etc) so all water flows into the highlighted basin or 'catchment'.

Click here to read more about the Resource Consent Process >>



Two steps to improved water rules

Council is taking a two-step approach to improving the rules for water quality and quantity management in the region by:

  1. Strengthening water allocation limits through a Region-wide Water Quantity Plan change. Public submissions were received in December 2016. Hearings are scheduled for October 2017 and the new rules may be operative by March 2018.
  2. Working with communities to set limits at a localised level to meet water quality and quantity targets for specific areas and waterways (Freshwater Management Units).  This is underway in the Kaituna Maketū, Pongakawa Waitahanui and Rangitāiki catchments. It will roll out to other parts of the region in the coming years.

This is part of our work to implement central government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater