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Auckland region

Water Quantity

Given the nature of our small stream systems, and with the exception of our few larger river catchments (Hoteo and Wairoa), Auckland is dependent on groundwater for its non-reticulated consumptive use.

Franklin is its food basket, sharing with north Waikato status as one of the top five growing regions in New Zealand. Food production is becoming more specialised and intensive, which has implications for water demand and its management. Small streams, which have traditionally supplied irrigation water, are in many cases no longer secure water sources in times of low flow. High yielding aquifers, however, provide good water supplies, though many of these are also becoming fully allocated. Not surprising in a region with significant pressure for growth, urban development is advancing on productive lands in the south, competing for space and resources.

In the north, both surface and groundwater is in shorter supply. Here, with less productive soil, the growth is in population rather than food production. Outside of the reticulated municipal water supply area, urban growth is challenged by available long term water supply.

The approach to management of surface and groundwater quantity through the resource consenting process is currently different. There are no minimum flows or availabilities for surface water allocation set in our operative Regional Plan, rather a direction to how these should be determined. Allocation limits are developed, according to these directions, on a consent application basis.

Groundwater availabilities for allocation have been determined for many of our more highly allocated aquifers, and these are included in the Plan. Where no statutory availabilities have been set, sustainable allocations are again determined through consent application processes, according to direction provided in the plan.

All water allocations are required to be metered, and the majority of consent holders maintain records of their water use, and make them available to the Council, electronically.  Where more detailed management of water use is necessary, telemetry is being employed. 

Auckland Council is currently unable to provide all the water quantity data for LAWA . The Council is currently working on supplying the remaining annual and live data to LAWA. In the meantime, if you would like more information on how water is managed in the Auckland region visit  

Regional Summary
Water quantity data in this region

Regional councils collect information about how much water is available and manage resource consents for those wishing to take water from rivers or groundwater supplies. Use the buttons below to view regional information on: how much water is available, where it comes from and how its used.


Rainfall {{waterAvailable.rainfall}} Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}} Groundwater available: {{waterSource.groundwater}}
{{waterSource.groundwaterPercentAvailable}}% of total available
Surface Water available: {{waterSource.surfacewater}}
{{waterSource.surfacewaterPercentAvailable}}% of total available
Town supply
  • How much water is there in this region?

    Rainfall and runoff in this region

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    Rainfall and runoff

    Relative Volume Source Volume
    Rainfall total:
    {{waterAvailable.rainfall }}
    rainfall Rainfall Total {{waterAvailable.rainfall}}
    Runoff total:
    {{waterAvailable.runoff }}
    runoff Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}}

    The table above shows the average amount of rainfall the region receives each year and how much of that flows out to sea. These are approximate figures only.

    Auckland Council is currently working on supplying the run-off to sea figures to LAWA.

  • Water consents: where does water come from?

    The split between surface water and groundwater

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    Consented water by source

    Relative volumes
    Amount available to consent Surface water:
    available to consent
    available to consent
    Volume consented Surface water:
    volume consented
    volume consented
    Source Amount available to consent Volume consented Consented as a percentage of available
    surface water ground water {{item.source}} {{item.amountAvailable}} {{item.volumeConsented}} {{item.percentageConsented}}
    {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}

    The table above shows how much water is available to use compared with the amount that is actually consented for use. It also shows how much of this water is surface water and how much is groundwater.

    Auckland Council is currently working on supplying the total surface water available figures to LAWA. 

  • Water consents: How is water used?

    Consents by use in this region

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    Annual consented water use by type

    Overall annual volume for {{waterAvailable.year}}
    Relative breakdown
    Activity Percentage of total consented Total volume Number of consents
    {{item.displayText}} {{item.displayText}} - - No data available {{item.breakdownPercentage}}% {{item.totalVolume}} {{item.numberOfConsents}}
    Total {{}}% {{}} {{}}

    The above table shows the proportion of water consented for irrigation, industrial, stock, town supply and other. It excludes hydro electricity. In this region/management zone {{hydroUsage.totalVolume}}/year is consented for hydro-electricity and makes up {{hydroUsage.percentageConsented}}% of the total water volume consented for this region/management zone

Surface Water Zones Groundwater Zones
Groundwater management zones in the Auckland region

Select the groundwater management zone you'd like to see information on by clicking the buttons below or navigate using the map.