Waipara Catchment Regional Plan changes adopted by Council

Press Release – Environment Canterbury

Environment Canterbury has adopted the recommendations from a hearing panel on the Waipara Catchment Environmental Flow and Water Allocation Regional Plan. The Waipara Plan was developed to promote the sustainable management of rivers and groundwater …October 27, 2011

Waipara Catchment Regional Plan changes adopted by Council

Environment Canterbury has adopted the recommendations from a hearing panel on the Waipara Catchment Environmental Flow and Water Allocation Regional Plan.

The Waipara Plan was developed to promote the sustainable management of rivers and groundwater in the Waipara catchment. Although it is a stand-alone plan, it will replace the water allocation planning rules and regulations for the catchment currently contained in the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan.

It was notified in April 2010 after six years of community and stakeholder consultation. Seventy submissions were received on the plan by the closing date of June 14, 2010, and a further 20 after the summary of decisions was notified on August 7, 2010. A hearing panel appointed by Environment Canterbury received and considered these submissions and held public hearings in April and August 2011.

The hearing panel recommended a few significant changes to the plan as notified. The main changes are:

• Changes to objectives, policies and rules to reflect the panel’s conclusion that the catchment is ‘over-allocated’ (in terms of consents to use the river water and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011)
• Changes to recognise and show the relationship with the Canterbury Water Management Strategy
• The flow regime in the notified Waipara Plan has been largely retained. Two significant exceptions are the minimum flow for abstractions based on the Teviotdale recorder rise to 150 litres/second (from 110 l/s) and the ‘A’ allocation on the Omihi Stream is modified to include all existing abstractions.
• The rules on stream depletion groundwater abstractions have been altered to align with the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan (which became operative in June this year), including the capture of some takes of less than 3 litres/second.

Under the Environment Canterbury Act 2010 the only appeals allowed on the plan are to the High Court on points of law, and must be made within 15 days of the decisions being notified by Environment Canterbury.

The decisions will be publicly notified from November 12, 2011.

ENDS

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