General State of the Water Resource

Water Allocation in the Horizons Region

Water is a precious and limited resource. Regional councils are tasked with the responsibility for managing water use and ensuring fair and reasonable access to water for as many users as possible, while ensuring that the environmental values are not impacted.

Knowledge about water use - when, where, how much – is essential for the effective management of the resource. As demand for water increases, accurate information about water use becomes more and more important.

Metering water takes is the key to ensuring Horizons has the information it needs to make fair and informed decisions about managing the water resource. Collecting water use information is now recognised as a national priority with the implementation of the National Regulations on Water Use Measurement and Reporting (2010).

Surface Water

Demand for easily accessible water has increased significantly over the last decade. In the Manawatu-Whanganui Region, this has seen some areas reach ‘fully allocated’ status in relation to surface water availability. This means that all of the surface water that has been deemed available for allocation in these areas, has been allocated through the Resource Consent process.

Areas in the region that are at or are approaching full allocation are the Upper Manawatu catchment, the Oroua catchment, the Upper Whanganui catchment, and parts of the Whangaehu and Rangitikei catchments.

If you are considering undertaking a new investment or activity in these areas, it is advisable to discuss water availability with the Horizons Science team before you begin.


With available surface water allocation becoming fully allocated in some areas, many water users have looked to groundwater abstraction as an alternative.

The availability of groundwater is locally influenced by geology and landform characteristics, but is generally an, as yet, ‘untapped’ resource relative the surface water.

Contact Horizons Science team to discuss the potential for abstracting groundwater on your property.