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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.6 Damming and Diverting » 3.6.4 Implementation Methods - Damming and Diverting

3.6.4 Implementation Methods - Damming and Diverting

3.6.4.1 Integration with Territorial Authorities

Waikato Regional Council will work with territorial authorities and share information regarding the damming and diverting of water, particularly with respect to co-ordinating the consent process with any requirements of the Building Act 1991.

3.6.4.2 Environmental Education*

Waikato Regional Council will, through environmental education programmes, support and actively promote the awareness of resource users about the adverse effects associated with the building of dams, damming of water, and the diversion of water including:

  1. the negative effects associated with the damming and the diversion of streams and rivers,
  2. methods to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of such structures and activities,
  3. the benefits of fish passes, and the need to ensure such provisions are maintained,
  4. the advantages of off-stream damming*, damming of ephemeral streams, and damming that enhances the quality and quantity of the Region’s wetlands.

3.6.4.3 Good Practice

Waikato Regional Council will, in conjunction with resource users, provide guidance in the development and use of good practices that are designed to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of the damming and diverting of water and maximise the positive effects.

3.6.4.4 Permitted Activity Rule – Small Dams and Damming Water

  1. The damming of water and its diversion, taking, and discharging related to its passage through, past or over the dam, in any off-stream area or ephemeral river or stream or artificial watercourse, and
  2. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of any associated structure in or on the bed of an ephemeral river or stream, where:
    1. the catchment area is less than one square kilometre (100 hectares), and
    2. the maximum retained water depth in the pond is less than three metres, and
    3. the dam retains not more than 20,000 cubic metres of water except that:
      1. the damming shall not affect Significant Geothermal Features
      2. the dam shall not occur in a cave system;

is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The dammed water is not a Natural State Water Body as identified in the Water Management Class Maps.
  2. The dammed water shall not raise water levels on neighbouring properties.
  3. Any erosion or scour as a result of the dam and associated discharges shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  4. The damming or discharge of water from the dam shall not increase the potential for land instability.
  5. A spillway must be constructed to prevent the dam being overtopped, and the spillway shall be designed to pass the probable maximum flood.
  6. The spillway shall be constructed on underlying parent material.
  7. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  8. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition g) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  9. The structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  10. Any discharge from construction works associated with the structure shall comply with the suspended solid standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.

Advisory Notes:

  • Dam construction guidelines are available from Waikato Regional Council (Guidelines for the Construction of Small, Homogenous Earthfill Dams).
  • This Rule does not permit the extractive taking of water from a river or stream (including any dam). Extractive taking of water is addressed in Chapter 3.3.
  • All dams are also required to comply with the requirements of the Building Act 1991 as specified in the Building Code and administered by territorial authorities.
  • Damming that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • Small dams in perennial waters for creation and enhancement are enabled by Rule 3.6.4.16.
  • The probable maximum flood needs to be determined on case-by-case basis but generally can be determined by taking the one percent exceedance probability and multiplying the flow by a factor of 1.6.
  • Guidelines for the construction of spillways and dams are contained in Section 3.6.7.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition h) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.
  • To measure the depth and volume of water contained in the dam use the following equation:

catchment image

3.6.4.5 Permitted Activity Rule – Existing Lawfully Established Damming of Perennial Water Bodies

The damming of water and its diversion, taking and discharging related to its passage through, past or over the dam; and the use or alteration of any associated structure, that was lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan, where:

  1. The catchment area is less than one square kilometre (100 hectares), and
  2. The maximum retained water depth in the pond is less than three metres, and
  3. The dam retains not more than 20,000 cubic metres of water, and
  4. The damming shall not affect Significant Geothermal Features;

is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The dammed water shall not raise water levels on neighbouring properties.
  2. The structure shall provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  3. A spillway must be constructed to prevent the dam being overtopped, and the spillway shall be designed to pass the probable maximum flood.
  4. Any erosion or scour as a result of the dam and associated discharges shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  5. The structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  6. Any discharge from construction works associated with the structure shall comply with the suspended solid standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.
  7. The activity shall comply with any conditions that are part of a resource consent for an activity granted before the date of notification of this Plan other than conditions relating to review or expiry.
  8. Any change in the activity shall not change the character or increase the scale or intensity of any adverse effects of the activity on the environment.
  9. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  10. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition i) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.

Advisory Notes:

  • Any person or persons damming flowing water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • The probable maximum flood needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis but generally can be determined by taking the one percent exceedance probability and multiplying the flow by a fact of 1.6
  • Guidelines for the construction of spillways and dams are contained in Section 3.6.7.
  • This rule does not permit the extractive taking of water from a river or stream (including any dam). Extractive taking of water is addressed in Chapter 3.3.
  • If any of these conditions are not complied with, then the activity is a controlled activity in accordance with Rule 3.6.4.10. If the activity is a new dam it is subject to Rule 3.6.4.14.
  • All dams are also required to comply with the requirements of the Building Act 1991 as specified in the Building Code and administered by territorial authorities.
  • Damming that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • Small dams in perennial waters for creation and enhancement are enabled by Rule 3.6.4.16.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition j) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.

3.6.4.6 Permitted Activity Rule – Existing Lawfully Established Stopbanks

The damming or diversion of water by way of a stopbank, where the activity was lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan, is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The activity shall comply with any conditions that are part of a resource consent for an activity granted before the date of notification of this Plan other than conditions relating to review or expiry.
  2. Any change in the activity shall not change the character or increase the scale or intensity of any adverse effects of the activity on the environment.
  3. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  4. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition c) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  5. The structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  6. The structure shall provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream.

Advisory Notes:

  • All stopbanks are also required to comply with the requirements of the Building Act 1991 as specified in the Building Code and administered by territorial authorities.
  • The discharge of diverted or impounded floodwater is a permitted activity under Rule 3.5.10.1.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition d) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.

 

3.6.4.7 Permitted Activity Rule – Existing Lawfully Established Diversions and Discharges

Unless authorised by Rules 3.6.4.6 and 3.6.4.8, the diversion and any consequent discharge of water from a diversion and the use or alteration of any associated structure, where:

  1. The activity was lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan
  2. Any discharge only occurs within the catchment of origin

is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The activity shall be undertaken and structures maintained in a manner that does not increase adverse effects of flooding on any land or property owned or occupied by any person.
  2. The structure shall provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  3. The structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  4. Any change in the activity shall not change the character, or increase the scale or intensity of any adverse effects of the activity on the environment.
  5. Where the diversion and discharge occurs as part of a stormwater system, the activity must comply with all of the conditions of Rules 3.5.11.4 and 3.5.11.5.
  6. Any discharge from construction works associated with the structure shall comply with the suspended solid standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.
  7. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  8. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition g) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of he Waikato Regional Council.
  9. Any erosion occurring as a result of the activity shall be remedied as soon as practicable.

Advisory Notes:

  • If any of these conditions are not complied with, then the activity is a controlled activity under Rule 3.6.4.11.
  • Any diversion and discharge that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition g) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.

3.6.4.8 Permitted Activity Rule – Diversions and Discharges in Artificial Watercourses and Drainage Systems

Unless restricted by Rule 3.7.4.6, the diversion and any consequent discharge of water within an established artificial watercourse* or drainage system, undertaken after the date of notification of this Plan is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The catchment area above the diversion shall not exceed two square kilometres.
  2. No discharge shall be made outside of the natural catchment of the drainage system.
  3. The activity shall be undertaken and structures maintained in a manner that does not increase adverse effects of flooding on any land or property owned or occupied by any person.
  4. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s State Recording Scheme or by the Historic Place Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  5. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition d) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  6. Any discharge from construction works associated with the structure shall comply with the suspended solid standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.
  7. The structure shall provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  8. Where the diversion occurs in a waterway classified as Indigenous Fisheries in the Water Management Class Maps the operator of the diversion shall notify the Waikato Regional Council of its location three weeks prior to the construction of the diversion.
  9. Any erosion occurring as a result of the activity shall be remedied as soon as practicable.

Advisory Notes:

  • Refer also Rule 3.7.4.6 which concerns diversions and/or discharges (by way of drain construction) in the proximity of wetlands.
  • This Rule does not override any requirements of drainage authorities where the activity occurs within drainage scheme areas.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition e) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.

3.6.4.9 Controlled Activity Rule – Offstream Damming and Damming Ephemeral Streams and Damming of Artificial Watercourses

Unless authorised by Rule 3.6.4.4, the damming of water in any off-stream area, ephemeral river or stream or artificial watercourse, and any associated:

  1. Diversion, taking, and discharging of water related to the passage of water through, past, or over the dam, or
  2. Use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of any associated structure in or on the bed of an ephemeral river or stream;

is a controlled activity (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. The dammed water shall not raise water levels on neighbouring properties.
  2. Any erosion or scour as a result of the dam and associated discharges shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  3. Spillways or other mechanisms shall be provided so that the dam can safely pass the probable maximum flood.
  4. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s State Recording Scheme or by the Historic Place Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  5. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to standard and term d) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  6. The structure shall be maintained in a sound condition.
  7. The diversion and discharge does not affect Significant Geothermal Features.
  8. The dam does not occur in a cave system.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The location and size of the dam.
  2. The dam design and construction methods.
  3. Sediment control practices during construction.
  4. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity.
  5. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  6. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  7. Measures to control the stability of the land bordering the dammed water.
  8. Measures to ensure the safe passage of flood water as a result of dam storage capacity being exceeded.
  9. The timing of the works.
  10. The passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  11. The quantity or flow rate of water released from the dam, including maintenance of residual flow.
  12. The quality of water discharged from the dam.
  13. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna1.

Advisory Notes:

  • This Rule does not permit the taking of water from a river or stream (including any dam). Taking of water is addressed in Chapter 3.3.
  • Any diversion and discharge that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • Guidelines for the construction of spillways and dams are contained in Section 3.6.7.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition e) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.
  • The imposition of consent conditions under matters iv), v) and vi) shall take into account the policy direction provided in Policies 1 and 2 in Section 2.3.3 in addition to specific policies in this Chapter of the Plan.

3.6.4.10 Controlled Activity Rule – Existing Lawfully Established Damming of Perennial Water

Unless authorised by Rule 3.6.4.5 any:

  1. Damming of water
  2. Diversion, taking, and discharging of water related to the passage of water through, past, or over the dam
  3. Use or alteration of any associated structure;

that was lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan is a controlled activity (requiring resource consent).

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. Measures to provide for the passage of fish, both upstream and downstream, including whether passage is appropriate or necessary.
  2. Upstream and downstream water levels, residual flows and water quality.
  3. Screening of intake and diversion structures.
  4. Intake velocities.
  5. Measures to manage erosion effects (including destabilisation of bed and banks of river).
  6. Measures to identify and manage the risk of dam failure.
  7. Stability of the land bordering the dam.
  8. Measures to manage discharges to water from the use or alteration of the dam structure.
  9. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effect on areas of significant indigenous vegetation and/or significant habitats of indigenous fauna2, significant natural features, significant geothermal features and natural character, excluding effects on Significant Geothermal Features of the operation of the Waikato River system for hydroelectric Generation as authorised by resource consents commencing 12 April 2006.
  10. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate any effects on other uses of the river or stream.
  11. The quantity or flow rate of water released from the dam.
  12. Volume and rate of any take or diversion.
  13. Techniques for ensuring the safe passage of flood water.
  14. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity.
  15. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  16. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga by the activity.
  17. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects of the operation on downstream sediment transport processes.
  18. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effect on downstream infrastructure.

Exclusion:
This Rule shall not apply to:

  1. Damming or diverting of geothermal water that affects a Significant Geothermal Feature; or
  2. any activity specified in s13(1) of the Resource Management Act carried out in, on, under or over the bed of a water body that is a Significant Geothermal Feature.

Advisory Notes:

  • Any person or persons damming flowing water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • This rule does not permit the taking of water from a river or stream (including any dam). Taking of water is addressed in Chapter 3.3.
  • The imposition of consent conditions under matters xiv), xv) and xvi) shall take into account the policy direction provided in Policies 1 and 2 in Section 2.3.3 in addition to specific policies in this Chapter of the Plan.
  • Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • To give effect to RPS 3.7.3, Policy One, Implementation Method 1, Waikato Regional Council (Waikato Regional Council) has not reserved control over the effects on Significant Geothermal Features of the operation of the Waikato River System for hydroelectric generation as authorised by consents commencing 12 April 2006.

3.6.4.11 Controlled Activity Rule – Existing Lawfully Established Diversions and Discharges

Unless authorised by Rule 3.6.4.7 the diversion and any consequent discharge of water from a diversion where the activity was lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan is a controlled activity (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. Any discharge shall only occur within the catchment of origin.
  2. The activity shall be undertaken and structures maintained in a manner that does not increase adverse effects of erosion or flooding any neighbouring land.
  3. Any structures shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times
  4. Any change in the activity shall not change the character, or increase the scale or intensity of any adverse effects of the activity on the environment.
  5. With the exception of the operation of the Waikato River system for hydroelectric generation as authorised by consents commencing 12 April 2006, the activity does not affect a Significant Geothermal Feature.
  6. The activity does not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  7. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to standard and term f) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  8. Where the diversion and discharge occurs as part of a stormwater system, the activity must comply with all of the conditions of Rules 3.5.11.4 and 3.5.11.5.
  9. Any erosion occurring as a result of the activity shall be remedied as soon as practicable.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. Measures to provide for the passage of fish, both upstream and downstream, including whether passage is appropriate or necessary.
  2. Upstream and downstream water levels, residual flows and water quality.
  3. The volume and rate of any take or diversion.
  4. Screening of intake and diversion structures.
  5. Intake and discharge velocities.
  6. Measures to manage erosion effects (including destabilisation of beds and banks of river).
  7. Effects on the activity on natural character.
  8. Safe passage of flood water.
  9. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity.
  10. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  11. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  12. Measures to identify and manage the risk of dam failure.
  13. Stability of the land bordering the dam.
  14. Measures to manage discharges to water from the use or alteration of the dam structure.
  15. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effect on areas of significant indigenous vegetation, significant habitats of indigenous fauna, significant natural features and natural character, excluding effects on Significant Geothermal Features of the operation of the Waikato River system for hydroelectric Generation as authorised by resource consents commencing 12 April 2006.
  16. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate any affects on other uses of the river or stream.
  17. The quantity or flow rate of water released from the dam.

Advisory Notes:

  • Any person or persons damming flowing water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • To give effect to RPS 3.7.3, Policy One, Implementation Method 1, Waikato Regional Council (Waikato Regional Council) has not reserved control over the effects on Significant Geothermal Features of the operation of the Waikato River System for hydroelectric generation as authorised by consents commencing 12 April 2006.
  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement standard and term g) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.
  • The imposition of consent conditions under matters ix), x) and xi) shall take into account the policy direction provided in Policies 1 and 2 in Section 2.3.3 in addition to specific policies in this Chapter of the Plan.

3.6.4.12 Controlled Activity Rule – Wetland and Lake Level Control Structures

The following activities:

  1. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of any structure, for the purpose of maintaining or establishing minimum water or bed levels of peat lakes and wetlands and any associated bed disturbance, in or on the bed of a lake or river; and
  2. Any associated damming of water

are controlled activities (requiring resource consent), subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. The structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  2. All construction materials and equipment shall be removed from the river or lake bed on the completion of that activity.
  3. No contaminants (including, but not limited to, oil, hydraulic fluids, petrol, diesel, other fuels, paint or solvents) shall be released to water from the activity.
  4. The activity does not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the New Zealand Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme, or by the Historic Places Trust, except where the Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  5. Any erosion occurring as a result of the structure shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  6. The structure shall be fixed in place to prevent it being washed away in the event of a flood.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. Measures to control the effect of the activity on areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna.
  2. The passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  3. The minimum water or bed level at the outlet of the lake or wetland.
  4. Measures to prevent damage to riparian vegetation or soil.
  5. The design and location of the structure.
  6. The potential effects on bed and bank stability and water quality.
  7. Measures to control the effect of the activity on upstream or downstream properties.
  8. Measures to control the effect the activity will have on any lawfully established structures.
  9. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity.
  10. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  11. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  12. Measures to ensure consistency with criteria as set out in any applicable Water Management Classes in this Plan.

Notification:
Applications for resource consent for activities under this Rule will be considered without notification provided that written approval of parties directly affected by the lake or wetland level is obtained in accordance with s94(1)(c)(ii) of the RMA.

Advisory Notes:

  • The use, erection, construction, placement, alteration or extension of a structure in or on the bed of a river or lake that does not comply with this Rule is a discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 4.2.4.2.
  • Any person or persons damming flowing water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • All stopbanks are also required to comply with the requirements of the Building Act 1991 as specified in the Building Code and administered by territorial authorities.
  • The information Waikato Regional Council will require to assess any application under this Rule is set out in Section 8.1.3.1.
  • The imposition of consent conditions under matters, ix), x) and xi) shall take into account the policy direction provided in Policies 1 and 2 in Section 2.3.3 in addition to specific policies in this Chapter of the Plan.

3.6.4.13 Discretionary Activity Rule – Stopbanks, Diversions and any Associated Discharges of Water

Where the diversion and subsequent discharge of water does not comply with Rules 3.6.4.6, 3.6.4.7, 3.6.4.8, 4.2.9.1, 4.2.9.2 or 4.2.9.3 any:

  1. Damming or diversion of water by way of a stopbank, and
  2. Diversion of water, and
  3. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of any structure on or in the bed of a river or stream associated with the above activities that:
    1. is undertaken after the date of notification of this Plan, or
    2. affects a Significant Geothermal Feature
    3. does not occur in a cave system;

is a discretionary activity (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Notes:

  • The information Waikato Regional Council will require to assess any application under this Rule is set out in Section 8.1.2.4.
  • The construction of stopbanks can affect wetlands by raising water levels. Depending on location, relevant controls may appear in the RCP or the relevant district plan.
  • Damming that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

3.6.4.14 Discretionary Activity Rule – New Dams/Damming of Water

Except as provided for by Rules 3.6.4.4, 3.6.4.9, 3.6.4.10 and 3.6.4.12 the following activities, if undertaken after the date of notification of this Plan:

  1. Damming of water and associated diversion, taking and discharging of water related to the passage of water through, or past or over the dam
  2. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration of extension of any structure in or on the bed of a river or stream associated with the above activities;

provided they do not:

  1. occur in any perennial river or stream that is classified as Natural State in the Water Management Class Maps
  2. affect Significant Geothermal Features

is a discretionary activity (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Notes:

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  • Any person or persons wishing to dam perennial water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • This Rule does not permit the taking of water from a river or stream (including any dam). Taking of water is addressed in Chapter 3.3.
  • Damming that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

3.6.4.15 Non-Complying Activity Rule – New Dams/Damming of Water in Natural State Water Bodies

Unless authorised by Rule 3.6.4.14, the following activities:

  1. The damming of water in any perennial river or stream identified as Natural State in the Water Management Class Maps.
  2. Any associated diversion, taking and discharging of water related to the passage of water through, or past or over the dam
  3. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of any structure in or on the bed of a river or stream associated with the above activities;

undertaken after the date of notification of this Plan, are non-complying activities (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Notes:

  • Any person or persons wishing to dam perennial water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this Rule are set out in Section 8.1.31. In addition, assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in Policy 2 of Section 4.2.3.
  • Damming that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

3.6.4.16 Controlled Activity Rule – New Small Dams in Perennial Waters for Creation and Enhancement of Wetlands

The damming of water on a perennial water body, and its diversion, taking and discharging related to its passage through, past or over the dam, and the use of alteration of any associated structure, where:

  1. The dam is for the purposes of wetland creation or enhancement
  2. The catchment area is less than one square kilometre (100 hectares)
  3. The maximum water depth is less than three metres measured from the upstream toe of the dam structure and/or the dam retains not more than 20,000 cubic metres of water except that:
    1. the damming shall not affect Significant Geothermal Features
    2. the dam shall not occur in a cave system;

is a controlled activity (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. The dammed water shall not raise water levels on neighbouring properties.
  2. Any erosion or scour as a result of the dam and associated discharges shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  3. The structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  4. Any discharge from construction works associated with the structure shall comply with the suspended solid standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.
  5. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  6. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition e being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the activity, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  7. There shall be no direct take from the dam.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

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  • Measures to provide for the passage of fish, both upstream and downstream.
  • Upstream and downstream water levels and residual flows.
  • Measures to identify and manage the risk of dam failure.
  • Measures to ensure stability of the land bordering the dam.
  • Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate any effects on water quality (including temperature, effect of livestock access and nutrients).
  • The quantity or flow rate of water released from the dam.
  • Safe passage of flood water.
  • Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects of the operation on downstream sediment transport processes.
  • The construction and design of spillways and dams.
  • The process used to fill the dam (including effects on downstream water users).
  • Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna6.

Advisory Notes:

  • Any person or persons damming flowing water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • All dams are also required to comply with the requirements of the Building Act 1991 as specified in the Building Code and administered by territorial authorities.
  • Damming that affects Significant Geothermal Features is addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.
  • The probable maximum flood needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis but generally can be determined by taking the one percent exceedance probability and multiplying the flow by a factor of 1.6.
  • The rule does not permit the taking of water from a river or stream (including any dam). Taking of water is addressed in Chapter 3.3.

3.6.4.17 Controlled Activity Rule - Coffer Dams

The following activities;

  1. The temporary diversion of water, and
  2. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of a temporary diversion structure; and
  3. Any associated deposition of construction materials, and
  4. Any associated bed disturbance, and
  5. Any discharge of sediment associated with construction activities;

in, on, under or over the bed of a river or lake for the purpose of maintaining an existing lawfully established structure are controlled activities (requiring resource consents) subject to the following standards and terms;

  1. The diversion structure shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition at all times.
  2. All construction materials and equipment shall be removed from the river or lake bed on the completion of the activity.
  3. No contaminants (including, but not limited to, oil, hydraulic fluids, petrol, diesel, other fuels, paint or solvents but excluding sediment) shall be released to water from the activity.
  4. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the New Zealand Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme, or by the Historic Places Trust, except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  5. Any erosion occurring as a result of the structure shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  6. Any structure built with materials not naturally present in the bed of the river shall be fixed in place to prevent it being washed away in the event of a flood.
  7. The entire structure shall be removed immediately after completion of the works that it was built to assist and the bed of the river or lake shall be reinstated to its original state.
  8. The Waikato Regional Council shall be notified of the commencement date of the works and of the removal date of the structure.
  9. The activity shall not affect Significant Geothermal Features.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The design, location and size of the structure.
  2. The degree to which the structure is able to restrict the cross sectional area of the river.
  3. The length of time that the temporary dam/diversion structure will remain in place.
  4. The construction materials and methods used and when construction is to occur.
  5. The dewatering on the inside of the structure and any necessary fish recovery.
  6. Measures to control the adverse effects of the structure on navigation safety.
  7. Measures to control the effect of the activity on areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna.
  8. The passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  9. Measures to control the discharge of sediment.
  10. Measures to prevent damage to riparian vegetation or soil.
  11. The potential effects on bed and bank stability and water quality.
  12. Measures to control the effect of the activity on upstream or downstream properties, including flooding or erosion.
  13. Measures to control the effect of the activity on any lawfully established structures.
  14. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity.
  15. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  16. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  17. Measures to ensure consistency with criteria as set out in any applicable Water Management Classes in this Plan.

Advisory Notes:

  • The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of a structure in or on the bed of a river or lake that does not comply with this Rule is a discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 4.2.4.2.
  • The diversion of water that does not comply with this Rule is a discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 3.6.4.13.
  • Any person or persons damming flowing water bodies should liaise with DoC regarding the requirements of the Freshwater Fish Regulations 1983.
  • The information Waikato Regional Council will require to assess any application under this Rule is set out in Section 8.1.3.1.
  • Any of the activities that are listed in Rule 3.6.4.17 that affect Significant Geothermal Features are addressed in Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 3.6.4.1 to 3.6.4.17
Method 3.6.4.1 will assist in achieving integrated management of natural and physical resources*. Regional councils and territorial authorities have overlapping responsibilities in regard to dam structures and the damming and diverting of water. Under s30(1)(e) of the RMA, Waikato Regional Council has a responsibility to control the damming and diversion of water and control the quantity, level and flow of water in any water body. Section 31(e) of the RMA provides territorial authorities with the control of any actual or potential effects of activities in relation to the surface of waters in rivers and lakes. Territorial authorities are also responsible for ensuring that the design and construction of large dams are consistent with the Building Act 1991 and Building Code. This is critical in terms of ensuring dam safety.

Method 3.6.4.2 supports and actively promotes the raising of awareness amongst resource users about both the adverse effects associated with the building of dams and the damming and diverting of water and the positive effects that the use of offstream dams and dams on ephemeral watercourses can have. The reason for adopting this method is that greater awareness of these issues by resource users is likely to be instrumental in bringing about improved practices.

Method 3.6.4.3 recognises that the importance of good practice guides such as guidelines for the “Construction of Small Homogeneous Earth Dams” and the New Zealand Society on Large Dam publication ‘Dam Safety Guidelines’ (1991). If resource users have good, practical information, positive environmental changes will come voluntarily in many cases, rather than through a reliance on regulation.

Damming of water at the scale and location permitted in Rule 3.6.4.4 is likely to have minor adverse effects. The Rule encourages the use of off-stream dams and dams in ephemeral water bodies, as the potential effects on ecosystems, fisheries and downstream users arising from these structures are significantly less than can arise from dams on permanently flowing water. There are a number of existing dams within the Region that are located in these areas, which are having either positive effects or minor adverse effects. Rules 3.6.4.9 provides for large dams.

Rule 3.6.4.5 recognises that in most cases, existing damming by small dams, does not have significant adverse effects on the environment, and should be permitted to continue without the need to go through a resource consent process. A three metre water height restriction is suggested, as a large number of dams up to this size have been lawfully established within the Waikato Region, and do not cause significant adverse effects. This rule also applies only to dams where the catchment size and volume of water stored are below certain thresholds. Dams larger than the thresholds specified could have a range of adverse effects on the downstream environment or downstream users, and it is appropriate that they be routinely reviewed through the consent process to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place. This is done through Rule 3.6.4.10, which controls the renewal of consents for existing large dams in the Region. Large dams can significantly reduce downstream flows below their natural rates when water is stored behind them. At times when flows are naturally low, such as during a drought, further flow reductions may threaten aquatic flora and fauna downstream.

Rules 3.6.4.6 and 3.6.4.7 recognise that generally, the effects of existing stopbanks and small existing diversions have been through the consent process and are of a scale and nature that does not justify ongoing costs associated with consents. To attempt to restore the diverted waters back to their pre-diversion state is likely to have significant adverse effects, and is generally not practicable. New stopbanks and new or large existing diversions are addressed in Rules 3.6.4.11 and 3.6.4.13.

Rule 3.6.4.8 applies to land drainage activities in those areas where drainage is achieved by artificial, constructed drains and does not affect identified wetlands protected by Chapter 3.7. The adverse effects of such activities are generally minor as they do not relate to natural water bodies and associated aquatic values are generally low. Diversions and/or discharges which result in land drainage and which are located in close proximity to wetlands are regulated by Rule 3.7.4.6 rather than by this Rule as the effects of such drainage on wetland areas can be significant. Where the activity is proposed to be located within a drainage scheme area, it is important to note that this rule does not override any requirements of the relevant drainage authority.

Rule 3.6.4.12 acknowledges that water levels in a number of peat lakes and wetlands in the Region are reducing due to historical land drainage activities in their vicinity. These areas are valuable habitat for indigenous flora and fauna. The only way to maintain or enhance these wetland areas is to construct and maintain water level control structures such as weirs or dams. The Rule gives agencies and individuals with management responsibilities for wetland areas some certainty that they will get resource consents for such structures provided that they are properly constructed and managed.

Rule 3.6.4.14 acknowledges damming of water in a flowing water body can have significant adverse effects and is likely to adversely affect water quality, flow regimes, aquatic ecosystems, bed and bank stability, recreational use and tangata whenua values.

Rule 3.6.4.15 discourages damming where it will adversely effect Natural State Water Bodies or Significant Geothermal Features by making them non-complying activities. These environments have been identified as having special values that could be irreversibly damaged should damming occur in their areas.

Rule 3.6.4.16 is restricted to wetland creation and enhancement. This activity is encouraged by the policies in the Plan due to the positive environmental effects that this activity can have. For instance, dams of this nature are likely to have planted margins thereby minimising any potential increase in water temperature, and livestock access will be restricted therefore reducing any nutrient inputs and risks of bank instability. The Rule does not apply to dams where there is any extractive take due to the effects that such a take could have on downstream water users, aquatic habitat and sediment transport processes.

Rule 3.6.4.17 provides for the temporary diversion of water where it is for the purpose of maintaining an existing lawfully established structure. Properly managed,such dams can be an effective means of maintaining other structures and minimising the effects on the stream bed, neighbouring properties and aquatic habitat.

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