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Southland region

Surface Water Zone: Mararoa Surface Water Zone

The Mararoa surface water zone covers the entire Mararoa River catchment. The upper two thirds of the Mararoa catchment drain mountainous alpine, tussock and native forest covered land. Extensive farming begins below the South Mavora Lake area and becomes more intensive further down the catchment.

Throughout its length, the Mararoa is a fast flowing river, with powerful runs and deep pools. The swift current of the river, as well as the large cobble substrate, provide great habitat for rainbow trout, which the Mararoa is renowned for amongst fishermen. Near the Mararoa River’s natural confluence with the Waiau River, the Manapouri Lake Control now diverts the water from the Mararoa back into Lake Manapouri, excepting when the Mararoa River is in flood. This is to augment the flow required by the Manapouri hydropower station. Environment Southland has no water level recorders on the Mararoa River but the Mararoa River is monitored for flow by NIWA on behalf of Meridian Energy, near the Manapouri Lake Control. An automatic rainfall recorder is located near the Whitestone River at the Te Anau-Mossburn Highway. NIWA also runs a raingauge site further up in the Mararoa catchment. The Mararoa surface water zone is one of the few fully allocated management zones in Southland. This is due to hydroelectric power generation activities in the Waiau River catchment. A small number of rural community water supplies are also sourced from the lower Mararoa River.

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.

    Flow data for the Mararoa region is collected by NIWA and Meridian.

  • 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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