We have recently introduced a new way for water take consent holders to help them ensure they are complying with their resource consent conditions.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s monitoring network will be measuring water flows at key sites every day across the rohe (region) and will be setting a standardised flow for the following day for each site – this is called the reference flow.

The reference flow will stand for 24 hours each day from midnight and will be set by 5pm the day before.

This new tool will make complying with water take consents easier for consent holders and will also help us at Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council uphold the principles of Te Mana o te Wai.

Before we introduced this new tool, it was the consent holder’s responsibility to monitor water flow during the time of day they were taking water to ensure they were complying with their resource consent.

Now a consent holder only needs to check the reference flow set by council once each day to ensure they are complying. By advising the next day’s reference flow by 5pm, water users can plan ahead for the following day by adjusting their operations or equipment like pumps and irrigation systems.

Use the reference flow below to find reference flows for water takes or discharge that are related to conditions in a consent you hold.

What is a reference flow?

A reference flow may form part of your consent conditions and is used to manage the impact of a consent under the principles of Te mana o te Wai.

The reference flow is a representative flow statistic established from telemetered river flow sites, manual river flow measurements or derived flows.

Please note the current Reference flow will not always match the flows on the Environmental Data Portal because the reference flow statistic is derived from part or all of the preceding 24-hour period.

Reference Flow Table

Please use the Reference Flow table to find reference flows for water takes or discharge that are related to conditions in a consent you hold.

It is your responsibility to understand the minimum flow conditions imposed under your consent and implement required actions or restrictions based upon the supplied reference flows.

Only information from this table should be used for consented water take or discharge purposes. Information from our Environmental Data Portal page should not be used nor should information published in newspapers.

How does the Reference Flow Table work?

Flow information for the current day are shown in the “Today’s Reference Flow” column.

Flow information for the following day will become available at 3pm for rivers that have flow calculated via a telemetered system and at 5pm for rivers that have a manual assessment method, this will be displayed in the “Tomorrow's Reference Flow column”. This allows the consent holder a period of time to plan for the following day.

Flow information in “Tomorrow's Reference Flow column” will become “Today’s Reference Flow” at the start of each day.

A yellow colouration to the row indicates a reference flow less than the defined  management flow and a red colouration to the row indicates a flow less than the defined minimum flow.

Reference Flow Table

Table glossary

Waterbody - The river, lake or aquifer name that the consent condition reference site is measuring. Note this may be a different waterbody to that of the consented take or discharge.

Site ID - The reference sites Aquarius database identification code.

Reference site - The name of the reference site, this will be the name as listed in the consent.

Management Band - The water take or discharge band referenced in your consent conditions. These bands will cover different parts of the flow range that occurs in the waterbody.  

Management Flow - The Management Flow trigger level is the flow at which a restriction will apply. For example, if a water take is required to restrict their usage when the river flow drops below 5.0 m³/s, the trigger level will be 5.0 m³/s.

Minimum Flow - The Minimum Flow trigger level is the flow at which a take or discharge must cease. For example, if a water take is required to cease when the river flow drops below 5.0 m³/s, the trigger level will be 5.0 m³/s.

Today’s Reference Flow - The reference flow in use from 00:00 to 23:59 of the current day.

Tomorrow’s Reference Flow - The reference flow that will be in use from 00:00 to 23:59 tomorrow. A dash indicates Tomorrow’s flow data is not yet available.