The latest in a series of catchment meetings to help determine a minimum flow for the Cardrona River and level for the Cardrona Aquifer is being held in Wanaka next week.
The consultative process began last year, and potential water management strategies will be presented on the night.
The Otago Regional Council (ORC) hosted meeting is being held on Thursday 23 February at the Lake Wanaka Centre’s Armstrong Room from 7.30pm.
– What water management means for Cardrona and Wanaka residents
– How flow levels and aquifer levels on the Cardrona River interact
– How taking water from the river and aquifer will affect flows and what it means for potential users.
ORC director of policy and resource planning Fraser McRae said the focus of next week’s meeting is on understanding the interaction between surface and groundwater in the Wanaka Basin. In addition the meeting shall look at maintaining surface water values which are currently under threat.
The Cardrona River and its tributaries have 41 consented surface water takes. Of these, 19 are deemed permits and of the remaining 23 consented water takes, 20 are primary allocation and two are supplementary allocation takes.
Deemed permits (also known as “mining privileges”) were issued under very early mining legislation, including the Mining Act 1926, and allowed the taking, damming and discharging of water.
This water was increasingly used for irrigation, as gold mining declined. The Crown acquired a number of the higher priority, significant mining privileges which were used for irrigation schemes, and these were then transferred to community irrigation groups.
The ORC would carefully consider the practicalities for farmers of when and how the minimum flow and aquifer level became operational, once they were set, Mr McRae said.
Information from the previous meetings is available on the ORC website www.orc.govt.nz.