Irrigation Systems & Resource Consent

Freddy and Pebbles discuss obtaining consent from the Council regarding water for the irrigation system


Farmer Freddy is sitting in the dining room having a cuppa and looking out at the dry parched paddocks.  The cows are making noise further down the farm, a familiar sound these days, they are just hungry.  The silage is running low and the grass is not growing.

Freddy has dried off all the low producing cows, the thinner cows and culled as many as he can to reduce the pressure on the grass.  Yet the cows are still hungry and there are no grey clouds on the horizon.

“What can I do to improve things?” He thinks to himself.  “Maybe I could resurrect that old irrigation system we had a few years ago and draw some water from the river at the back of the farm, and get some moisture into the paddocks and get the grass growing.”

He tootles off down to the implement shed and starts work on the equipment.  When he comes in for dinner, Pebbles has come to visit.

“Hi Dad, how’s things going, I was craving a beef roast, so I thought I would come and join you for dinner.  What have you been up to today?” 

“Well Pebbles I have been flat out in the implement shed today, getting that old irrigation system and pump up and running.  I just need a few parts which I can get from Charlie down the road and it will be all go.  I am going to put it in the river and get some water on the parched paddocks and see if we can get the grass growing”, he says.

“Whoa Dad, are you sure you can just start taking water from the river at the back of your farm.  You may need a Resource Consent from the Council to be able to do this.  Water is a natural resource and you cannot just help yourself to it unless it is a “permitted activity”.

“I suggest you contact the regional council before you go any further Dad, and find out what you can and cannot do.  I am aware that you may take small amounts of water for domestic and stock purposes from some Taranaki rivers as long as the volume is less than 1.5 litres/second and less than 25% of the stream flow is taken.  You sound like you want to take large volumes of water dad and I wouldn’t do that until you have spoken to the Council.”

“And Dad I am sure you are not the only farmer in this predicament, imagine if all farmers started drawing large amounts of water from the rivers, we would soon be really really low on water!”

“Ok fair comment Pebbles, I am really worried about the cows being hungry.  I will give the council a call in the morning.”

The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document.

If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser. 

 

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