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Amy Adams

9 November, 2012

Water measuring to allow more efficient management

Environment Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the effective start of new regulations that require for the first time significant water takes to be metered, as part of a wider programme to improve fresh water management.

From tomorrow, all significant water takes (more than 20 litres per second) need to be metered. Smaller water takes down to five litres per second will gradually be covered by the regulations so that by 2016, about 98 per cent of consented water will be measured.

“It is time to get serious about how we use water in this country. It is a replenishable resource but a finite resource at a given time and place,” Ms Adams says.
“We cannot manage what we do not measure. There is a major gap in our knowledge and it affects our ability to make good decisions and to effectively manage water.

“Studies suggest that water supports economic activity worth up to $28 billion per year in New Zealand, and only a small improvement in efficiency makes an investment in improved information worthwhile. It has been estimated that a five per cent gain in efficiency would achieve a $100 million benefit for the country.”

Consent holders will be able to use information on how much water they are using to identify costly inefficiencies in their systems, such as poorly-performing pumps, intakes and wells.

“This information is likely to enable savings in terms of water used, and energy costs, and may help avoid costly issues down the track by allowing problems to be identified and addressed before any serious difficulties with system performance occur.” The regulations will be monitored and enforced by regional councils.