WATER

Good response to water measuring compliance action

Monday 17 December 2012, 3:17PM
By Environment Canterbury
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CANTERBURY

Environment Canterbury is working with water consent holders – with takes of 20 litres per second and more – to ensure compliance with the National Regulations to install a water measuring system.

The deadline for installation of a water measuring device and data logger was November 10, under Government regulations. At that time 56 per cent of Canterbury’s affected consent holders had complied, 32% had confirmed they would install a water measuring system, and 12% had not responded to requests for information.

“We started a compliance programme on November 12 with a selection of the water consent holders we had not heard from and who were potentially non-compliant with the water measuring regulations,” said Kim Drummond, Environment Canterbury’s Director of Resource Management.

“The programme started with a personalised letter reminding consent holders of the requirement to install a water measuring system and was followed up by a phone call and site visit from a compliance officer, if required.”

This follow-up work was at the consent holder’s cost.

“We found around half of these consent holders had in fact installed an appropriate water measuring system or had contracted a service provider to do so. A few consent holders decided to surrender their consents.

“There is another group of people we are now working with to ensure compliance with the regulations as soon as possible.

“There are only a very small number of consent holders who have been unco-operative and are unfortunately facing abatement action unless they engage with our compliance officers in the near future.

“We have been encouraged by the response to our follow-up work to ensure compliance with the National Regulations as consent holders realise the benefits of installing a water measuring system.

“Many farmers are already enjoying the benefits of having the information required to ensure the best use of water.

“Telemetry devices – which transmit water data to a base station - have now become essential to how many farmers manage their farm. This is an example of farmers seeing the benefit of going beyond regulated requirements to optimise the efficiency of their farming operation.”

The compliance programme will continue in January targeting any remaining potentially non-compliant water consent holders to ensure they meet the requirements of the National Regulations for measuring and reporting water takes.

Background to water measuring regulations

Water consent holders with takes of 5 litres per second and more are required to install a water measuring system under the Government’s National Regulations, introduced in 2010. Consent holders must also provide their water use data to their regional council in July of each year.

The first deadline was November 10 for water consent holders with takes of 20 litres per second and more.

Consent holders with takes between 10 and less than 20 l/sec have until November 10, 2014.

Consent holders with takes between five and less than 10 l/sec have until November 10, 2016.

Environment Canterbury has worked with Irrigation NZ, industry suppliers and farmer representatives to establish standards for the installation and verification of water measuring devices. There are around 40 companies in Canterbury which have been assessed and are authorised to provide water measuring services.

More information about water measuring services, approved installation companies and the implementation of the National Regulations can be found at:

Water Metering

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/central/measuring-reporting-water-takes.html