Water metering

In Canterbury, we value our freshwater for drinking, recreation, cultural use and farming, as well as to provide a healthy aquatic habitat within waterways. By measuring and managing water takes, we can look after these resources in a way that protects the environment while sustaining the local economy. 

If you have a consent to take more than 20 litres of water per second (20 l/s), you must measure and record how much water you take in each 15-minute period, and report this data to our server daily.

From 3 September 2024, this will apply for consents to take more than 10 litres of water per second, and from 3 September 2026, any consent to take more than five litres per second.

f you have a permit that allows more than 5 l/s to be taken, a separate meter needs to be installed at every point of take. This needs to be installed by an approved supplier. You can find Irrigation New Zealand's list of 'Blue Tick' accredited suppliers on the Irrigation NZ website.

Please contact us to let us know you are installing a water measuring system.

3 September 2022

Rules take effect for consents to take above 20 l/s

3 September 2024

Rules take effect for consents to take 10 l/s up to 20 l/s

3 September 2026

Rules take effect for consents to take 5 l/s up to 10 l/s

Submitting your water use data

The easiest way to comply with the new regulations is to fit an electronic data logger and telemetry unit.

If you already have one installed, you will need to ensure it is recording water use at 15-minute intervals, and submitting data to our server daily.

For most irrigators, a water service provider will install and maintain this system, and ensure that data is submitted on your behalf.

However, it is the consent holder's responsibility to ensure this happens.

We recommend contacting your water service provider to check if you are compliant with these rules, and if not, ensuring they make the necessary changes.

You can find Irrigation New Zealand's list of 'Blue Tick' accredited suppliers on the Irrigation NZ website.

Verifying your water meter

Water meters need to be verified to ensure that water abstraction data is accurate to a within a five percent margin of error. This verification is required within the same water year as any new installation, and every five years after.

Water measuring and recording devices need to be verified by a suitably qualified service provider. Your service provider will usually send the updated verification certificate to us, but it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure it is submitted. You can send an updated water meter verification certificate to water.metering@ecan.govt.nz.

Compliance checklist

The following table applies to all water use consents issued since 2020, and to all water use consents to take 20 litres per second or greater:   

Your situation What action you need to take
I have a water use meter and telemetry, which is recording data every 15 minutes and sending to Environment Canterbury's server daily. Congratulations! You’re compliant with the Essential Freshwater rules on the measurement and reporting of water takes.
I have a water use meter and telemetry, and I’m recording data at intervals longer than 15 minutes, or not submitting data daily. You will need to change your recording and reporting frequency. Contact your service provider and ask them to make this change.
I have a water use meter and telemetry, but I’m not sure how often it is recording or submitting data. You may need to change your recording and reporting frequency. Check with your service provider.
I have a water meter and I submit data manually. You will need to install a system that automatically reports data to us. Contact your service provider about your options.
I don’t have a meter on my water take, or I am unsure about whether I have a system. You need to install a meter and telemetry as soon as possible. Contact your service provider about your options.

 Need more help?

Please contact us on 0800 324 636 or via our online form if you need any specific information about the Essential Freshwater regulations and the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan rules on water metering.