What exactly is the Canterbury Water Management Strategy?

Science Director Stefanie Rixecker discusses the Canterbury Water Management Strategy and its impact on water protection in Canterbury.

Canterbury’s precious water resource has been managed by the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) since 2009.

It provides a collaborative way of addressing the issues to enable present and future generations to gain the greatest social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits from Canterbury’s water resources.

The strategy sets out targets for water management in Canterbury for the next 30 years. Ten zone committees are responsible for developing water management programmes so that these targets can be met.

Who is in the Zone Committees?

Zone committees are made of community members, council representatives and Rūnanga.  They are appointed for three years and meet every few weeks to gather information about water in their zone before reaching a consensus on a water management programme.

Their recommendations are then presented to the regional and territorial councils to guide relevant water management policies.  Their meetings are open to the public, so that you can learn what the committee is up to and ask questions.  You are welcome to attend – find out more here.

What are the Canterbury Water Management Strategy targets?

These targets are reviewed every three years and no one target can take priority over another.

  1. Ecosystem health/biodiversity
  2. Natural character of braided rivers
  3. Kaitiakitanga
  4. Drinking water
  5. Recreational and amenity opportunities
  6. Water-use efficiency
  7. Irrigated land area
  8. Energy security and efficiency
  9. Regional and national economies
  10. Environmental limit