Fresh water is a precious resource that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council helps to manage and protect. Fresh water (our rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater) is essential to life, work and play; it sustains the things we value.

We collaborate with others to maintain and improve our water resource for future generations.

What happens on land affects our waterways. Because of this, we provide funding, advice and regional coordination to help improve the way land, water and biodiversity habitat is cared for in our local catchments. We've made great progress over 15 years, managing and protecting our region's waterways and habitat through community projects and work with landowners under our land incentive projects.

New national freshwater rules

The Government is taking action to restore and protect the health of waterways. The new rules  aim to halt the degradation of our streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands – all farmers will be affected.

Updating regional freshwater rules

In September 2020 the Government introduced new, broader freshwater management rules and regulations through the Essential Freshwater package.

Rivers, lakes and wetlands

The Bay of Plenty region is home to lakes, 10 major and many smaller awa (rivers) and a large number of wetlands.

Focus catchments

The Focus Catchments programme was developed to improve swimmability and to better align work programmes with the Essential Freshwater policy framework from the Ministry for the Environment.

Stream in Pongakawa.

Water use

We monitor and manage water use to make sure water supplies do not get too low. If you wish to use significant amounts of water you may need to apply for a resource consent.

fresh water in BOP river

Water metering

Water metering means we have accurate data to use when managing the region's water resource.

Fresh water protection in the BOP

Protecting our water

We work alongside landowners, communities and stakeholders to reduce all negative impacts to water.

Rebecca Elvers monitoring stream water in the BOP

Monitoring, science and research

We lead and support a range of scientific monitoring and research work to improve understanding about freshwater sources.

Kaituna wetlands

Co-governance and advisory groups

Technical and community panels have been established to inform our freshwater work.