Managing fresh water in the Bay of Plenty
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 12:00 p.m.
We have some key challenges for managing freshwater in the Bay of Plenty. Economic development, land use and climate change all affect the increasing demands placing pressure on the water in our region.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has proposed changes to how fresh water from our rivers, streams and aquifers is allocated in the Proposed Plan Change 9 to the Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land (the Regional Plan), which is now open for submissions.
“This is a key step for us in implementing the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) of 2014,” says General Manager Strategy and Science Fiona McTavish. “We need to sustainably manage our freshwater resources through addressing our regional problems which include a lack of limits for ground water, increase our knowledge of actual water use versus allocation; and stop unauthorised water takes”.
Council staff met with residents, community groups, iwi and industry representatives over the past 18 months to discuss the existing water allocation limits and changes to permitted takes. From the feedback of these meetings, Council has proposed conservative interim limits for water in our region, along with enhanced metering and reporting. This data will enhance understanding on how much water is available and how it is currently being used.
“By making a submission on the proposed Plan Change 9 people are helping define how we allocate water in our region, so we can ensure we have enough freshwater for everybody now and for the future” Ms McTavish says.
Everyone is encouraged to make a formal submission on Proposed Plan Change 9 to the Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land (the Regional Plan). The council is keen to receive submissions from anyone on whether they agree or disagree with the proposed plan change, and people have until 4pm, Weds 14th December 2016 to send their submissions in. A guide to writing a submission, the submission from and all information on this proposed plan change will be found at www.boprc.govt.nz/planchange9.