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More time to feedback on water allocation work

Friday, 30 October 2015 10:00 a.m.

People now have until 1 December to provide their feedback to Bay of Plenty Regional Council about how they believe water allocation should be managed in the region.

The Regional Council is currently gathering feedback from the community about possible changes to the Regional Water and Land Plan, to set a better framework for the whole region and fix some immediate water allocation problems before a longer term approach working with local communities looks at issues at a community level.

The work will also help address the increasing demand for our region’s limited freshwater resources,

Namouta Poutasi, Manager Water Policy, said the regional council has held meetings with communities and groups throughout the region and is still keen to meet with anyone who would like to know more about the work.

“As a starting point we’ve been working on what we think a plan change could look like. However we’re at an early stage of the process and are keen to hear from the public and find out if we’re on the right track before we begin a more formal notification process next year,” she said.

Issues raised so far include whether municipal (town) water supply takes should be given an automatic right of renewal, whether there should be a reduction in the amount of groundwater allowed to be taken without resource consent, and how best to bring some existing takes for dairy sheds and irrigation to compliance.

The work is the first stage in a wider project being carried out by the Regional Council.

“We need to make these changes now to make sure the region has a good framework in place for water allocation before we look at the region on a catchment by catchment basis with a broader freshwater focus.”

Meetings have been held around the region and staff are happy to receive requests for meetings from community or stakeholder groups to speak about the project. Information is also available on the Regional Council’s website at www.boprc.govt.nz/freshwaterfutures

Feedback on the current proposals closes on 1 December 2015, with a formal plan change process expected to take place next year.

Key Information

We need to set region-wide allocation limits, improve how we manage allocation of water and ensure it is being used efficiently.

These changes are needed to:

  • Strengthen existing limits for water allocation
  • Set the framework for action within local catchments on Water Management Areas
  • Fix existing water allocation problems like unauthorised water takes and over-allocation
  • Improve efficiency in managing water allocation and water use
  • Collect better information about water use.
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