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Canterbury region

Groundwater Zone: Selwyn-Waihora

The Selwyn-Waihora water management zone includes the headwaters of the Waimakariri River to the Gorge, and part of the headwaters of the Rakaia River, including the Wilberforce, Harper and Avoca Rivers and Lake Coleridge. The Zone includes the central plains, between these two rivers, the catchments of the Selwyn/ Waikirikiri, Waianiwaniwa, Hororata and Hawkins Rivers, the lowland streams and ephemeral waterways of Banks Peninsula that flow into Te Waihora/ Lake Ellesmere. The Rakaia River forms the southern boundary of the Selwyn-Waihora Zone and shares this boundary with the Ashburton Water Management Zone.

The upper parts of this zone are in extensive high country farming with some development of valley floors to provide winter feed. This has led to increased water demand. In the lower parts of the zone there is extensive use of groundwater for irrigation and domestic water supply (individual takes but also including towns such as Rolleston and Darfield). The abstraction of groundwater across the plains has led to diminished flows in lowland streams and subsequent water quality issues. The latest water allocation plan has proposed managing the surface and groundwater as a single unit.

Water Use
Groundwater in this zone

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


Groundwater available: {{waterSource.availableToAllocate}} Irrigation
Town supply
  • Groundwater in this zone
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    Groundwater in this zone

    Accurately estimating the total amount of water available in a groundwater management zone is not currently possible. Regional Councils are working with the Ministry for the Environment on the best way to calculate this figure. We will include these figures on LAWA when they become available. In the meantime, for more information about a particular groundwater management zone, contact your regional council.

  • Water consents: How much water is consented and used?

    Groundwater available to consent

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    Consented water in this groundwater zone

    Use the tables below to look at how much water is available compared with how much is actually consented within this water management zone. Click the plus to expand subzones where available

    Comparing consents and use
    Amount available to consent In this groundwater management zone:
    {{}} {{}}
    available to consent
    Amount consented
    measured and non measured
    Amount used (measured)
    Amount Units Consented or used as a percentage of available
    Total available to consent {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total consented {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total consented and measured {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total measured amount used {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total measured volume used {{}} {{}}

    The table above shows the amount of water that is available for use compared to the amount that has been consented. The �Total Consented� and �Total Consented and Measured� fields are based on percentages of the �Total available to Consent� field. If this field is not populated no data will be displayed. Some consents require actual use to be monitored and this is presented as 'Total measured volume Used' where available.

  • Water consents: How is consented water used?

    Consents by use in this groundwater zone

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    Consented water in this zone

    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}} m3 {{item.numberOfConsents}}
    Total {{}}% {{}} m3 {{}}

    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}} m3/year is consented for hydro-electricity and makes up {{hydroUsage.percentageConsented}}% of the total water volume consented for this region/management zone


Monitored sites in this Zone

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