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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.3 Water Takes » 3.3.2 Objective

3.3.2 Objective

  1. Giving effect to the overarching purpose of the Vision and Strategy to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for present and future generations.
  2. The availability of water to meet the existing and the reasonably justified and foreseeable future domestic or municipal supply requirements of individuals and communities and the reasonable needs for an individual’s animal drinking water requirements.
  3. The recognition of the significant community benefits that derive from domestic or municipal supply takes.
  4. The efficient allocation and the efficient use of water.
  5. No further allocation of water that exceeds the primary allocation in Table 3-5 that reduces the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.
  6. The recognition that existing water takes contribute to social and economic wellbeing and in some cases significant investment relies on the continuation of those takes, including rural-based activities such as agriculture, perishable food processing and industry.
  7. The continued availability of water for cooling of the Huntly Power Station.
  8. Sufficient water is retained instream to safeguard the life supporting capacity of freshwater, including its ecosystem processes and indigenous species and their associated ecosystems.
  9. That decisions regarding the allocation and use of water take account of the need to avoid the further degradation of water quality, having regard to the contaminant assimilative capacity of water bodies.
  10. Subject to Objectives a) to h) above, the availability of water to meet other future social, economic and cultural needs of individuals and communities (including rural-based activities such as agriculture, perishable food processing and industry).

Principal Reasons for Adopting the Objective:

This objective addresses matters which are either not included in Objective 3.1.2 or which are included but are not clearly attributable to water allocation and use.

The purpose of Part a) is to ensure that the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River which has as the overarching purpose of restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for present and future generations is given effect.

The purpose of Part b) is to protect the ability of communities to grow and still have certainty that they will be able to provide adequately for their reasonable and efficient domestic or municipal supply needs. This is a matter of priority for the Waikato Regional Council. The certainty could be provided by limiting the duration of other take consents in order to ensure that water remains available to meet the growth needs of communities, imposing conditions on other take consents which provide for review of the volume of water taken, or even declining to grant other consents, where appropriate. The purpose of Part c) is to guide decision-makers to give priority to the taking of water for domestic or municipal supplies. However, future growth requirements will need to be reasonably justified in a Water Management Plan. The purpose of Part d) is to ensure that water is allocated in a manner that promotes economic, technical and dynamic efficiency and that it is used in a manner that is efficient. The purpose of Part f) is to recognise the importance of existing takes.

Section 7(j) of the RMA provides for electricity generation from renewable energy sources as a matter to which Council must have particular regard. This legislative requirement is acknowledged in part e) and in appropriate policies in this Chapter. The purpose of part e) is to ensure that any reduction in electricity generation from renewable energy sources is confined to that resulting from takes falling within the primary allocation. Part g) acknowledges the importance of the Huntly Power Station to the national electricity supply system, and foreshadows making the renewal of the existing cooling water take a controlled activity.

During periods of water shortage or as a result of over allocation, in stream values are often compromised by the continued taking of water without appropriate guidance on methods for management of low flow situations. Part h) and subsequent policies and rules seek to avoid these effects and maintain environmental flows in stream values.

Part i) and the parallel objectives in Chapters 3.5 and 3.6 ensure that when allocating water, considering discharges to water or the damming and diverting of water, both the effects on water quality and contaminant assimilative capacity and allocable flow are considered.

The purpose of Part j) is to recognise the importance of water for future uses other than electricity generation and domestic or municipal supply.

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