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.

lake jetty

Updating regional freshwater rules

Find out about the changes to regional policies and rules to manage freshwater better in the Bay of Plenty. 

maketu st peters

Engaging with tangata whenua

Water is central in Te Ao Māori (Māori world view) as the pūtake or foundation of life.


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.

lake rotorua

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.


Water use, takes and metering

We monitor and manage water use and takes to ensure our waterways stay healthy.

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.

Marae wastewater

Many marae, particularly those in isolated areas, rely on old treatment and disposal systems to manage their wastewater. Depending on the size of the marae and the surrounding whenua, the existing systems may not now be the best option.