Source:Auckland Regional Council
The Kaipara River catchment is the third largest river system in the Auckland Region. In places, there are competing demands for the water resources of the river and its tributaries. The Auckland Regional Policy Statement (ARC, July 1999) provides for the preparation of Water Resource Assessment Reports (WRARs) to determine water availability on a catchment basis. This water allocation strategy is a WRAR for the Kaipara River catchment. The aims of the Kaipara River Catchment Water Allocation Strategy are:
• to investigate, review, assess and document the characteristics and values of the river and its tributaries;
• to determine the ways in which the water resource should be managed to reflect these characteristics and values;
• to identify conflicts and issues which might compromise the management of the water resource; and
• to determine and implement a strategy for resolving these conflicts.
The long term goal of the strategy is to ensure that the management of the water resource is consistent with the purpose and principles of the Resource Management Act (1991) and that any adverse effects resulting from the taking, use and damming of surface water are avoided, remedied or mitigated.
In parts of the catchment, abstractions from the river and its tributaries can significantly reduce summer stream flows. Flows are also influenced by the presence of a large number of dams within the catchment. Depending on the scale of these activities, the taking and damming of water can require a resource consent under Section 14 of the Resource Management Act (1991).
The majority of consents (or ‘water rights’ issued under previous legislation) expired during 1998. The water allocation strategy will guide the processing of applications for replacement resource consents and any future water permit applications. It also provides a framework for implementing a range of other measures which may contribute to ensuring that the values of the river and its tributaries are not compromised by the activities of taking, using and damming surface water.
Auckland Regional Council technical publication TP146