Consent holders urged to check consent conditions

12 December 2017

Consent holders are being encouraged to become familiar with the water take conditions in their consents as river and groundwater levels remain low even after the weekend’s rain.

“Consents for water takes from both rivers and groundwater come with certain conditions – which could relate to river flow, levels, water take volume, or abstraction rates,” Environment Southland director of policy, planning and regulatory services Vin Smith said. “Now’s the time to become familiar with these conditions and put plans in place if water levels continue to drop.”

Certain amounts of water can be taken without consent. Up to 10,000 litres of water from rivers, streams and lakes can be taken per landholding per day for household, irrigation or industrial use. The maximum quantity of groundwater that can be taken without a consent is 20,000 litres per landholding per day.

In both cases, the rate of abstraction must not exceed 2 litres per second, or result in adverse effects on existing water users, like neighbouring bores.

People wanting to abstract water in excess of these amounts need to contact the consents team at Environment Southland. Any breaches of the rules or consent conditions will be investigated.

Southland has only had about 79% of its usual rainfall for the year and Environment Southland’s monitoring shows that both river and groundwater levels are low for this time of year. Both the Southland District Council and the Gore District Council have water restrictions in place.

Environment Southland is continuing to monitor the situation closely. More information is available on www.es.govt.nz/low-water-levels, including graphs of aquifer levels, live river levels and situation updates.

Page reviewed: 12 Dec 2017 12:00am