A water management group in Hawke's Bay has set a deadline of December next year to present a draft management plan for some of the regions' major catchments.
The Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) is coordinating the TANK group, which has been criticised in the past for not making much progress.
The project is known as TANK for its water- and land-use focus on the Tutaekurī, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamū water catchments.
The council's group manager for strategic development, James Palmer, said it was a critical project but the collaborative process was not likely to be straightforward, and probably wouldn't get total agreement.
The TANK catchment management plan was driven by the 222 resource consents for current water takes that were due to expire in May 2019, he said.
"There will be areas of consensus and areas of disagreement for consideration by the ultimate decision maker, which is HBRC in conjunction with its regional planning committee."
A philosophy of gives and gains would need to be considered, he said.
"Nobody will get everything they want, but through this process a foundation of common ground will be established and areas of disagreement narrowed to a minimum."