Policies applying to both Surface Water and Groundwater

Policy 5-12: Reasonable and justifiable need for water^

Subject to Policy 5-18, the amount of water^ taken by resource users must be reasonable and justifiable for the intended use. In addition, the following specific measures for ensuring reasonable and justifiable use of water^ must be taken into account when considering consent applications to take water^ for irrigation, public water supply*, animal drinking water^, dairy shed washdown or industrial use, and during reviews of consent conditions^ for these activities.
  1. For irrigation, resource consent^ applications must be required to meet a reasonable use test in relation to the maximum daily rate of abstraction, the irrigation return period and the seasonal or annual volume of the proposed take. When making decisions on the reasonableness of the rate and volume of take sought, the Regional Council must:
    1. consider land^ use, crop water^ use requirements, on-site physical factors such as soil water^-holding capacity, and climatic factors such as rainfall variability and potential evapo-transpiration
    2. assess applications either on the basis of an irrigation application efficiency of 80% (even if the actual system being used has a lower application efficiency), or on the basis of a higher efficiency where an application is for an irrigation system with a higher efficiency
    3. link actual irrigation use to soil moisture measurements or daily soil moisture budgets in consent conditions^.
  2. For domestic use, animal drinking water^ and dairy shed washdown water^, reasonable needs must be calculated as:
    1. up to 300 litres per person per day for domestic needs
    2. up to 70 litres per animal per day for drinking water^
    3. up to 70 litres per animal per day for dairy shed washdown.
  3. For industrial uses, water^ allocation must be calculated where possible in accordance with best management practices for water^ efficiency for that particular industry.
  4. For public water supplies*, the following must generally be considered to be reasonable:
    1. an allocation of 300 litres per person per day for domestic needs, plus
    2. an allocation for commercial use equal to 20% of the total allocation for domestic needs, plus
    3. an allocation for industrial use calculated, where possible, in accordance with best management practices for water^ efficiency for that particular industry, plus
    4. an allocation necessary for hospitals, other facilities providing medical treatment, marae, schools or other education facilities, New Zealand Defence Force facilities or correction facilities, plus
    5. an allocation necessary for public amenity and recreational facilities such as gardens, parks, sports fields and swimming pools, plus
    6. an allocation necessary to cater for the reasonable needs of animals or agricultural uses that are supplied by the public water supply* system, plus
    7. an allocation necessary to cater for growth, where urban growth of the municipality is provided for in an operative district plan^ for the area and is reasonably forecast, plus
    8. an allocation for leakage equal to 15% of the total of (i) to (vii) above.
  5. When making decisions on consent applications where the existing allocation for a public water supply* exceeds the allocation determined in accordance with (d)(i) to (d)(vi) above:
    1. consideration must be given to imposing a timeframe within which it is reasonably practicable for the existing allocation to be reduced to the determined amount, or
    2. if (i) is not imposed, an alternative allocation must be determined based on the particular social and economic circumstances of the community serviced by the public water supply* and the actual and potential effects^ of the abstraction on the relevant Schedule B Values for the reach of river^ or its bed^ affected by the take.

Policy 5-13: Efficient use of water^

Water^ must be used efficiently, including by the following measures:
  1. requiring water^ audits and water^ budgets to check for leakages and water^-use efficiency as appropriate
  2. requiring the use of, or progressive upgrade* to, infrastructure^ for water^ distribution that minimises the loss of water^ and restricts the use of water^ to the amounts determined in accordance with Policy 5-12
  3. enabling the transfer of water permits^
  4. promoting water^ storage
  5. raising awareness about water^ efficiency issues and techniques
  6. requiring monitoring of water^ takes, including by installing water^ metering and telemetry.