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Further changes proposed for Otago Water Plan

MEDIA RELEASE

Further changes proposed for Otago Water Plan

August 15, 2014

Two proposed changes to the Otago Water Plan will be publicly notified tomorrow – one affecting the Cromwell terrace aquifer (Plan Change 4C) and the other the Pomahaka River (Plan Change 3B).

The Cromwell plan change recommends a maximum allocation volume for the aquifer. It incorporates a new proposal under which ORC would advise water permit applicants of the allocation status of aquifers.

The Pomahaka plan change proposes establishing minimum flows, allocation limits, and monitoring sites for the river.

ORC director of policy, planning, and resource management Fraser McRae said changing land use within the Pomahaka had resulted in increased demand for water for out-of-stream uses, mainly irrigation.

Several existing takes have had minimum flows applied to them on a case-by-case basis.

A minimum flow of 3600 litres per second is proposed for the Pomahaka in summer to protect instream values from takes in a dry year, and give consent holders 99 percent confidence of supply.

Mr McRae said the Pomahaka and its Waipahi River tributary are recognised in the Water Plan as having a regionally significant habitat for trout, and are the only catchments in the region with that status.

Submissions on both proposed plan changes close with ORC on September 12.

ENDS

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