New Zealand Discharges Into Waterways

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Briefing Note

Specific Topic: Discharges into Water Ways

The briefing note set out below is to inform Environment Canterbury in a summarised form the topic of ‘discharges into water ways’ under the Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP) for Canterbury. The policies related to this matter are many in number as it is such a broad topic that is interrelated with many aspects of the NRRP, in particular chapters four and five on water quality and water quantity respectively. The issue of discharges into water ways is one of the crucial aspects to the NRRP, its importance is highlighted by the large involvement water plays in the health and continued sustainability of the environment.

Initial Proposal in Proposed NRRP

Initially the topic of ‘discharges into water ways’ is covered in chapters four and five, chapter four relating to water quality and chapter five relating to water quantity, both are clearly affected by discharges into water ways. Under chapter four of the NRRP the objectives outlined in WQL 1, 2 and 3 clearly outlines the expectations of discharges into water ways in concern with water quality in rivers and lakes, groundwater and contaminated land and community drinking water. Under the water quality policies is a strict criteria which include consideration of minimising volume and concentration of contaminant in the discharge (Policy WQL1 (1)(a)(i)), the possible movement of plants and animals due to discharge (Policy WQL1 (1)(b)(ii)) and any adverse effects on Ngai Tahu’s cultural values (Policy WQL1 (1)(b)(i)). Under the water quantity policies of chapter five discharge into waterways is prohibited if it would cause more than a minor adverse effect on the natural flow variability, the natural character and landscape values of the area, the sites of wahi tapu or wahi taonga and the passage and spawing of areas for trout or salmon (Policy WQN 1 (2)(a-g)) among others. The proposed NRRP has very strict criteria for discharges into water ways...
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