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Canterbury region

Surface Water Zone: Hurunui-Waiau

The Hurunui Waiau Water Management Zone boundaries are contiguous with those of Hurunui District Council covering the area between Waipara River in the south to the top of the Hundalees (including the Okarahia River) just north of Conway River/Tutae Putuputa in the north from the coast to the Southern Alps. The takiwā (geographical interests) of two Ngāi Tahu hapū (sub-tribes) straddle the Hurunui Waiau Zone; namely, Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Ngāti Kurī’s interests extend from Te Parinui o Whiti (White Bluffs) in the north to the Hurunui River in the south, east from the Main Divide out to sea as far as the eye can see. Ngāi Tūāhuriri’s interest extends from the Hurunui River in the north to the Hakatere/Ashburton River in the south (sharing an interest with Ngāti Huirapa/Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua northwards to the Rakaia) east from the Main Divide and out to sea as far as the eye can see.

The zone is dominated by the two large alpine-fed rivers (the Hurunui and Waiau Uwha) which have large irrigation schemes abstracting from them. The Culverden Basin has intensive agriculture using water from both the Waiau Uwha and Hurunui rivers and plans for further irrigation in the surrounding area. This is placing significant pressure on the water resources and recognition that water storage is required to meet irrigation demands. In the south of the zone the Waipara River has large pressures from surface and groundwater extraction and naturally occurring phosphorus leading to excessive periphyton growth.

Water Use
Surface Water in this Zone

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


Rainfall {{waterAvailable.rainfall}} Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}} Surface Water available: {{waterSource.availableToAllocate}} Irrigation
Town supply
  • How much surface water is there in this zone?

    Rainfall and flow in this surface water zone

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    Rainfall and runoff

    Relative breakdown 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 water management zone receives each year and how much of that flows out to sea. These are approximate figures only.

    Runoff to sea is calculated from surface water flows only

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

    Surface water available to consent

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    Consented water in this surface water 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 surface water 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 surface water zone

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    Consented water

    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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