The Green Party says it will charge bottling companies access to water, if elected to government.
At its campaign launch in Nelson, the party said too many exporters were profiting from a free resource.
It said it would put an immediate 10 cent per litre levy on the sale of water and the revenue would be split between local councils and mana whenua.
The councils would be expected to use the money for environmental programmes and drinking water management.
The Green Party said it would also ban any new resource consents for bottling companies until a comprehensive commercial water pricing scheme was in place.
As part of its policy to protect drinking water, the party would also reinstate the Drinking Water Subsidy which previously resulted in $100 million over 10 years being allocated to small communities.
Those communities would receive upgraded equipment and technical advice to help access clean water.
The Green Party would also make changes to the Resource Management Act and the National Environment Standard for Drinking water.
It said councils would be required to prioritise drinking water when making decisions about allocating resources.