Search all sites near me now
Search your favourite swimming spots

Otago region

Water Quantity

Otago mountains, lakes, and rivers provide some of New Zealand’s best water-based business, recreation and tourism opportunities.

Abundant, high-quality freshwater from the Otago highlands supports diverse ecosystems and supplies communities, agriculture, industry, and hydro-electricity schemes.

Otago relies on freshwater for irrigation to ensure continued rural production during regular summer spells of dry weather.

Otago Regional Council is currently tranisitioning to a new water management plan and, consequently, cannot provide all the data requested by LAWA. More data will be added as it becomes available. 

In Central Otago, water for irrigation is taken under deemed permits (originally issued by the Wardens Court more than 100 years ago for gold mining), and as a result many rivers there are over-allocated. The council has worked with the community to consider the best way to manage Otago water resources when all deemed permits expire in 2021. The Otago Water Plan now provides for the transition to water permits under the Resource Management Act and meeting the challenges of future water demand.

The Otago Water Plan includes minimum flow and water allocation provisions for many Otago rivers – setting these flows and allocations is an ongoing process. Minimum flows and allocation limits constrain when and how much water can be taken from freshwater sources during low flow conditions.  Minimum flows protect rivers’ aquatic ecosystems and natural character.

The Otago Water Plan includes a suite of water quantity provisions aimed at improving allocation and encouraging landholders to make efficient use of water. These provisions also enable community water management by enabling and empowering local groups to co-ordinate the taking and use of water, and imposing rationing when necessary.

The new water permit consenting system approach will offer groups greater flexibility than the individual deemed permits system did by:

  • enabling them to make use of a number of take points and freshwater sources
  • promoting improvements to water infrastructure, including water take, storage, and supply facilities
  • enabling the management of surface and groundwater as a connected resource, while recognising their different characteristics.

 

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.

{{illustrationHeading}}

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
{{waterUsage.irrigationLabel}}
Industrial
{{waterUsage.industrialLabel}}
Stock
{{waterUsage.stockLabel}}
Hydroelectrical
{{waterUsage.hydroLabel}}
Town supply
{{waterUsage.drinkingLabel}}
  • How much water is there in this region?

    Rainfall and runoff in this region

    Show Hide

    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.

  • Water consents: where does water come from?

    The split between surface water and groundwater

    Show Hide

    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.

    Otago Regional Council is currently tranisitioning to a new water management plan and, consequently, cannot provide all the data requested by LAWA. More data will be added as it becomes available. 

     

  • Water consents: How is water used?

    Consents by use in this region

    Show Hide

    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

    Data on consents held with Otago Regional Council is currently unavailable. Otago Regional Council is currently working on providing this for display on LAWA, check back later this year. 

Surface Water Zones
Surface Water zones in the Otago 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 Otago region

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