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Time running out to comply with water measuring regulations

December 8, 2011

Time running out to comply with national water measuring regulations

Water consent holders are being reminded by letter that time is running out to install water measuring devices, a requirement under the Government’s National Regulations and Reporting Water Takes 2010.

From 10 November 2012 consent holders with takes of more than 20 litres per second will need to have installed water measuring devices and systems for reporting water use.

This week Environment Canterbury is sending letters to affected water consent holders who have yet to install a water measuring system according to records supplied by service companies.

Environment Canterbury Extension Services Manager Judith Earl-Goulet said consent holders need to act soon to ensure they comply with the Government’s regulations.

“The government’s National Regulations are here to stay and there will be consequences for those who do not comply by the appropriate deadline. There is a huge job to do to get the installations done in time.

“In New Zealand there are around 12,000 consents that require water measuring devices to be installed. Approximately 42 per cent of these are in Canterbury – the highest regional proportion in New Zealand.

“We are encouraging water consent holders to act quickly to avoid bottle-necks and cost blowouts. Industry service providers have advised us they are unlikely to have the capacity to service the volume of installations required if consent holders delay taking action.

“A last-minute rush could result in a shortage of equipment and labour and require installers to contract out services and these costs could be passed on to farmers,” she said.

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.

Environment Canterbury also has a dedicated water metering team based in Ashburton that works closely with industry and the community to provide the necessary advice and guidance to make installing a measuring system as easy as possible.

Judith Earl-Goulet said there are obvious advantages to installing water measuring devices.

“Measuring water use provides consent holders with the information they need to ensure they use water efficiently and optimise production, comply with resource consent conditions, as well as reducing irrigation and pumping costs.

“Many farmers have already being enjoying the benefits of having the information required to ensure you are getting the best use out of their resource. Added telemetry devices have also become fundamental to how many farmers manage their farm – saving them time, money and energy.

“The information relating to actual water use will help Environment Canterbury with the planning, allocation and management of the region’s ground and surface water,” she said.

All consent holders should refer to their resource consent/s and review their conditions to determine which time frame they have to comply with.

The deadlines for installing water measuring systems are:

DateTake size
10 November 201220 litres/second or more
10 November 2014Between 10 and 20 litres/second
10 November 2016Between 5 and 10 litres/second

Individual consent conditions can be viewed online at: http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/Pages/consent-search.aspx.

If consent holders do not have a copy of their consent or do not know their consent number they should call Customer Services on 03 353-9007 or 0800 324-636.

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

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

ENDS

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