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Canterbury region

Surface Water Zone: Waimakariri

The Waimakariri Zone is characterised by the large alpine Waimakariri River, the hill-fed Ashley/Rakahuri River and its tributaries and estuary, the Ashley Waimakariri Plain and the ground water zones (Ashley, Eyre, Cust, Loburn), and a network of spring fed streams and lagoons in the coastal zone. Much of the land to the east of Rangiora is reclaimed swamp, which is still subject to poor drainage and occasional flooding. The north-western portion of the district is hill and high country. These hills, including Mt Oxford, Mt Richardson, and Mt Thomas dominate the district’s western landscape. Tangata Whenua in the zone are Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Te Taumutu Rūnanga. These Rūnanga have kaitiakitanga responsibilities.

The Waimakariri zone has one large irrigation scheme taking water from the Waimakariri River, several smaller ones from the Ashley and Okuku Rivers and a considerable amount of groundwater takes. The groundwater takes includes water for Rangiora and Kaiapoi, the largest urban settlements in the zone. Groundwater is close to fully allocated and the surface water is fully allocated. Storage of water from the Waimakariri water is currently being developed to ensure higher reliability of supply. Lowland streams near the coast have been impacted with low flows diminishing, particularly during dry summers such as 2014-15.

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.

    Runoff is greater than rainfall because runoff includes half of the Waimakariri River which receives most of its rainfall from the mountains outside this management zone

  • 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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