21 Oct 2008

Water permits approved in central Canterbury

3:08 pm on 21 October 2008

More than 40 new consents have been granted to take groundwater in central Canterbury, against the recommendations of the Canterbury Regional Council.

A resource consent panel approved the applications to take water for irrigation in the Selwyn-Waimakariri zone.

The regional council asked the panel to decline the applications because it considers the Selwyn-Waimakariri groundwater zone to be already fully allocated.

The council also failed to stop the granting of new consents for the neighbouring Selwyn-Rakaia zone, in an earlier decision.

However, the panel has imposed some constraints on these applications, by limiting the consents to 10 years, instead of the 15 years sought.

The panel acknowledged that there is some uncertainty regarding the effects of additional water extraction in the zone.

It said there is also a level of uncertainty relating to a relatively new approach to water management proposed for the area.

The decision is open to appeal.