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Horizons well placed to meet water regulations

Friday, 9 November 2012

Horizons well placed to meet water regulations

National regulations on water measurement and reporting take effect November 10 and the Horizons Region is well placed to comply thanks to a comprehensive water metering programme.

The regulations apply to takes greater than 20 litres per second and affect those who rely heavily on water from the region’s rivers, streams and groundwater sources. There are 258 such users in the Horizons Region including farmers, commercial growers, councils taking water for town drinking supplies and hydro-electric schemes.

Under the regulations, these consent holders are required to record and return water use data to the regional council with the same requirement for smaller takes to be phased in over the next four years.

Horizons freshwater and science manager Jon Roygard says Horizons’ water metering programme is one of the most comprehensive in New Zealand, setting the council in good stead to meet national regulations.

“Our water metering programme was established in the early 2000s and we’ve required water meters to be installed on all new surface and groundwater takes for almost a decade,” Dr Roygard says.

“Horizons works to maximise the amount of water available for use whilst providing for environmental needs. By understanding how much water is being used, we gain a better idea of what’s available which is beneficial for all users.”

Dr Roygard says many consent holders are already making the most of their water meters to find ways of using water more efficiently and those automatically returning data via telemetry can access this information online using the WaterMatters system on Horizons’ website.

“We’ve really appreciated the cooperation of consent holders in getting these water meters and data recording systems in place.

“WaterMatters allows the general public to see information on water management zones and any water restrictions. It also provides more detailed information for consent holders who are able to log in and view their water use data from the past seven days,” he says.


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