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Good information about the amount of water being drawn from Marlborough’s rivers and aquifers is necessary if we are to carefully manage these vital resources.
There are 1500 active water permits across the region – and while the current regional plans have required metering, not all will comply with new national standards.
The new national water metering regulations came into force in November 2010. They apply to all takes greater than 5 litres/second. This applies to half the water permits in Marlborough.
These regulations set down basic rules about metering technology and the level of recording and reporting of data. In many cases the Marlborough District Council already applies more stringent conditions than those outlined in the regulations. However, some permit holders will have to take steps to comply.
There is a sliding time scale for compliance with these regulations. For example, the largest water users (>20 l/s) have until November 2012 to comply. Anyone with a water permit in this category should have received a letter from Council already, outlining the requirements of the regulations and advising where to seek help with their implementation.
The Council is currently trialling a new web page to be used by any permit holder where they can enter their own water meter readings. It is hoped the webpage will be available by early next year. More information about water metering, the new regulations and where to find help, will also be available on Council’s website early in the New Year.