As pressure on livestock farms, crops and orchards mounts due to the drought conditions in the region, Environment Waikato is reminding water users about the rules governing takes from waterways and groundwater.
For many parts of the region, property owners can currently take up to 15 cubic metres of water per day for domestic use and for their animals’ drinking water. Taking more than 15 cubic metres per day for stock drinking water is also allowed in circumstances where this does not have an adverse environmental effect. (Further advice on the rules regarding this is available at the numbers below.)
Other than that, water takes – including those for irrigation – generally require a consent from EW.
The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that flows in rivers and streams are maintained as far as possible at levels that ensure minimum environmental standards.
“We have every sympathy for farmers and others affected by the very dry conditions in our region,” said resource use group manager Chris McLay.
“But our consenting rules are designed to ensure fairness and equity in the way water is allocated, particularly at stressful times like this, as well as ensuring appropriate environmental flows.
“So it’s important that people don’t start drawing off unauthorized amounts of water for irrigation and other purposes.
“If people want to take more than permitted amounts of water, they should approach our water allocation team for a consent.”
For further details about the rules or inquiries about consents, EW’s water allocation programme manager Mark Davenport is available on 0800 800 401 (or at email@example.com) or call 0800 RUG 401 (0800 784 401).