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Water sustainability strategy

WaterSustainabilityStrategyCoverWesternBayA Water Sustainability Strategy specifically for the western Bay of Plenty has been developed to look at how we allocate and manage water in the long term. 

Water Sustainability Strategy (western Bay of Plenty)

Water is important for everyone in the Bay of Plenty, whether it is used for drinking, gathering watercress, kayaking or fishing, irrigation for farming or industry. Others simply value water as a part of our environment.

Water is a renewable resource, however contrary to popular belief it not is an infinite resource. Within the western Bay of Plenty, there is an anticipated increase in demand on water due to population growth and changing land use. This will place considerable pressure on our groundwater aquifers, rivers and streams, so a Water Sustainability Strategy specifically for the western Bay of Plenty sub-region has been developed.

What is the purpose of a sub-regional strategy?

The key purpose is to enable a coordinated approach to managing water quantity in the western Bay of Plenty sub-region. It draws upon recent science which has identified long-term water requirements, water-short and water-rich areas for both surface and groundwater resources in the sub-region.

The strategy is a chance to be proactive in addressing future problems, seizing opportunities and balancing the various needs for water with the protection of the environment for future use and enjoyment.

What is the problem?

The population of the western Bay of Plenty sub-region (which includes Tauranga City) is set to double by 2055. In addition, industrial, agricultural and horticultural demands on water are intensifying which collectively will put considerable pressure on our groundwater aquifers, rivers and streams.

What are the opportunities?

We can realise the potential of water in the sub-region to support economic development by ensuring a reliable water supply. There is potential to improve the way we collect, store and use water, including greater use of dams and new technologies that mean that water can be used more efficiently. There are parts of the sub-region where water supply is plentiful. We can learn from other regions that have already dealt with conflicting demands for water. We all share the responsibility to ensure a secure and sustainable water supply for our communities, economy and environment.

What will the strategy set out to address?

Water management can be threatened by poor relationships and enhanced by good relationships between statutory agencies, major water users and local communities. The strategy aims to improve information to the community, promoting a shared responsibility and taking an integrated and holistic approach to water management.

The Strategy addresses three key areas of water management:

  • Improve water resource knowledge - information must be collected and shared.
  • Manage water and demand - includes reduced water reliance, more efficient use and finding alternatives to supply.
  • Foster effective relationships - including (but not limited to) councils, industry, tangata whenua and the wider community

Who developed the strategy?

The strategy was developed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council in conjunction with Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council. The development of the Strategy is provided for in the Sustainable Water and Geothermal Implementation programme of the Ten Year Plan.

Will there be other sub-regional strategies?

Development of other sub regional strategies is proposed in the 2012/22 Ten Year Plan. The content and timing of these strategies will be reconsidered in light of the requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

2011/12 Annual Report

The second annual report (427 KB, pdf) on the implementation of strategy actions is available.

2010/11 Annual Report

The first annual report (444 KB, pdf) on the implementation of strategy actions is available.

Technical Reports

How can I get a copy?

For a printed copy of the Strategy (no charge) or technical reports (costs listed above) contact us by phone, fax or email on the details below. There is no charge for electronic versions on CD.