Formal consultation over proposals to restrict water takes
from the Pomahaka River and Cromwell aquifer will begin next
The Otago Regional Council's proposed plan changes 4B
(groundwater management: Cromwell Aquifer) and 3B (Pomahaka
Catchment minimum flow) would be publicly notified on August
16 and become operational.
For the Pomahaka, the plan change proposes to establish
minimum flows, allocation limits and monitoring sites.
While the river had reliable rainfall and a low need for
irrigation, if climate and land use changed there might be
increased demand for irrigation water, which could put
pressure on aquatic ecosystems and other in-stream values, a
report to the council's policy committee said.
Consultation had shown some support but there were requests
for higher and lower summer minimum flows.
The Cromwell plan change recommended a maximum allocation
volume for the Cromwell terrace aquifer.
Initial indication was of general support for the limit and
further discussions were held with Contact Energy regarding
the impact on its hydro-electric operations but no changes to
the proposal were needed, a report to the committee said.
Submissions on both plan change proposals close on September