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Bay of Plenty region

Water Quantity

About 211,468 litres of water flows through Bay of Plenty's main rivers, streams and aquifers per second. On average. the region gets 21.92 billion cubic metres of rainfall each year.

 

Bay of Plenty Regional Council manages more than 1300 consents to take and use water from ground and surface water sources. Approximately 1.94 million cubic metres of water per day is allocated to these consents. This is equivalent to 22,500 litres per second, similar to typical summer flows in the Tarawera River.

As the region's population grows so does the demand for water. Our key industries are land-based and depend on water; a 2011 study predicted water demand in the Western Bay would double within 50 year and in 2013 nearly two-thirds of our streams and one-fifth of its aquifers were allocated above default limits.

Domestic demand was estimated to more than double from 2005-2055 and significant potential for increases in irrigated horticultural and agricultural land is predicted. A range of industrial plants, including pulp and paper and dairy, use water from the region’s rivers, streams and groundwater aquifers for irrigation of crops and pasture, stock watering and community water supply.

The regional council's Region-wide Water Quantity Proposed Plan Change 9 addresses water allocation issues and urgent problems in the region. These include a lack of clear limits to water allocation, especially for groundwater, a high level of allocation in some resources and unauthorised water use.

It is expected the plan will enhance metering and reporting requirements, among other things.

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.

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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
Irrigation
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Industrial
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Stock
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Hydroelectrical
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Town supply
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  • 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.

    For surface water the allocable flow is 10 percent of the Q5 7-day low flow. This is to meet the default in-stream minimum flow requirement (IMFR) in the Regional Water and Land Plan (WLP), which is 90 percent of the Q5 7-day low flow (method 179).

    For groundwater the allocable flow is 35 percent of the annual average recharge (15 percent for coastal aquifers); this is from the Proposed National Environmental Standard on Ecological Flows and Water Levels (the ‘NES’). These figures are incorporated into Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change 9, which addresses water allocation issues and urgent problems in the region.

  • 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:
    {{waterSource.surfacewater}}
    available to consent
    Groundwater:
    {{waterSource.groundwater}}
    available to consent
    Volume consented Surface water:
    {{surfaceWaterConsented()}}
    volume consented
    Groundwater:
    {{groundwaterConsented()}}
    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}}
    {{waterSource.total.source}} {{waterSource.total.amountAvailable}} {{waterSource.total.volumeConsented}} {{waterSource.total.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.

    Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently compiling and moving consent data into a new database. Once this process is completed, detailed consent information missing from the table above will be made available.

    At this stage we can only provide the following regional summary information:

    The total number of water take consents in the Bay of Plenty is 1294 (as at February 2013), with 929 (72 percent) being groundwater and 365 (28 percent) being surface water.

    Horticulture is the predominant activity (61 percent of consents), followed by potable/commercial use (28 percent) and agriculture (11 percent).

    Of the current consents, 582 (45 percent) were granted before the enactment of the RMA in 1991 and therefore have a 35-year term (expiry in 2026). New consent terms are granted a 10-year term with monitoring and review conditions.

    Summary consent information suggests a number of surface and groundwater sources are allocated above the current defined allocable flows. However it is important to balance the information on allocation with actual measurements of the resource, to determine whether surface water flows or groundwater levels are being adversely affected. Initial analysis and observation of surface and groundwater suggests the current levels of allocation are not having a widespread negative impact on water resources, but further monitoring and science to improve understanding is under way.

     

  • 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 {{waterUsage.total.percentageConsented}}% {{waterUsage.total.totalVolume}} {{waterUsage.total.numberOfConsents}}

    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

     

    Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently compiling and moving consent data into a new database. Once this process is completed, detailed consent information missing from the table above will be made available. The expected date for delivery of the detailed consent information is the fourth quarter of 2015.

     At present we can only provide the following regional summary information:

    The total number of water take consents in the Bay of Plenty is 1294 (as at February 2013), with 929 (72 percent) being groundwater and 365 (28percent) being surface water.

    Horticulture is the predominant activity (61percent of consents), followed by potable/commercial use (28percent) and agriculture (11percent).

    Of the current consents, 582 (45percent) were granted before the enactment of the RMA in 1991 and therefore have a 35-year term (expiry in 2026). New consent terms are granted a 10-year term with monitoring and review conditions.

    Summary consent information suggests a number of surface and groundwater sources are allocated above the current defined allocable flows. However it is important to balance the information on allocation with actual measurements of the resource, to determine whether surface water flows or groundwater levels are being adversely affected. Initial analysis and observation of surface and groundwater suggests the current levels of allocation are not having a widespread negative impact on water resources, but further monitoring and science to improve understanding is under way.

Surface Water Zones
Surface Water zones in the Bay of Plenty region

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

Groundwater Zones
Groundwater management zones in the Bay of Plenty region

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