Ashburton Zone Committee invites locals to discuss water management and limits

Thursday 1 November 2012, 11:48PM
By Environment Canterbury


Two meetings are being held on November 6 for Ashburton district residents to hear more about how water management limits will be set for the area between the Ashburton and Rangitata rivers, as part of the collaborative Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).

The meetings reflect the Ashburton Zone Committee’s recent focus on developing recommendations on limits for the Hinds plains’ sub-regional plan. This plan is part of the sub-regional section of Environment Canterbury’s proposed Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

The proposed LWRP provides the framework to facilitate delivery of the community’s aspirations for water management – as set out in the CWMS. The CWMS requires the zone committee to work with community members to develop solutions for local water management challenges.

Ashburton Zone Committee Chair Matthew Hall said local input is important to ensuring decisions are made in the bests interests of the zone as a whole.

“The underlying philosophy of the CWMS is that local communities are best placed to make decisions on local water management.

“We are keen to engage with community members to ensure a wide range of views are represented in the recommendations we make.

“Specifically, we need to hear people’s views on water quality and quantity limits in the area between the Ashburton and Rangitata rivers, including the Hinds catchment, to feed in to a sub-regional plan for our zone.

“We also want to talk to people about the role infrastructure can play to deliver the targets in the CWMS and make better use of water in the zone,” he said.

The CWMS identifies infrastructure as a means to contribute to all the Strategy’s targets. In particular, it can address future-proofing issues such as ecosystem support in a changing climate, and water quality management through enhanced reliability and distribution efficiency.

“As it was with developing our ZIP, community input is vital to developing effective solutions to address the issues facing our water resource.

“The two public meetings are the people’s chance to hear about the issues and how they can be involved, so we hope to see plenty of people there,” said Matthew Hall.

The Ashburton Zone Committee finalised its Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) for water management in late 2011 to give effect to the principles and targets outline in the CWMS.

The CWMS aims to enable present and future generations to gain the greatest social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits from our water resources within an environmentally sustainable framework.

The Ashburton Zone Committee is a joint committee of the Ashburton District Council and Environment Canterbury. The Ashburton zone extends from the Rakaia River to the Rangitata River and includes Ashburton, Rakaia and Methven.

Meeting details:
Hinds Community Centre, Tuesday November 6th, 1.30 to 3.30 pm
Mayfield War Memorial Hall, Tuesday November 6th, 7.00 to 9.00pm