Background and Explanation
Damming activities in the Region can include farm dams, water supply dams or hydro dams. A diversion occurs when stopbanks, farm drainage canals, culverts, weirs, gauging structures and stormwater systems change natural flow patterns or where an activity involves the relocation of a watercourse through channel straightening or other works.
Activities that are intended to lower the water table, such as land drainage, can result in the movement of water from lakes and wetlands*. This constitutes a diversion of ground and/or surface water.
Section 14 of the RMA restricts the damming and diversion of water unless allowed by a regional rule or a resource consent. This chapter acknowledges that dams and diversions can have positive effects or only minor adverse effects. It therefore allows some activities to occur as permitted or controlled activities.
Relationship to Chapter 4.2 River and Lake Bed Structures
The damming and diverting of water cannot generally take place without a structure in the bed of a river. The issues, objectives and policies of this Chapter relate to the adverse effects of damming and diverting of water and any associated structures. Chapter 4.2 (River and Lake Bed Structures) deals with the adverse effects of the structure where damming and diverting does not occur.