24 Nov 2010

Commissioners to consider 2nd water moratorium

8:29 am on 24 November 2010

Canterbury Regional Council commissioners will meet on Wednesday to consider imposing a moratorium on water consents for a second North Canterbury river catchment.

The Commissioners are proposing to ban new consents to take, dam, divert or use water on the Waiau River catchment until October next year.

The moratorium would come into effect on 6 December and remain in force until 1 October.

A similar moratorium was placed on the Hurunui River in August. It also expires next October.

The Commissioners say the moratorium on the Waiau River is complementary to Hurunui and will give them the opportunity to develop a long term sustainable plan for water in North Canterbury.

Environment Minister Nick Smith has given the council approval to consider the second moratorium.

He says the Waiau River is strategically important in the wider debate over Canterbury's water resources, because it has high flow water suitable for storage.