Water use efficiency

Water meter icon

Water use efficiency must be addressed in the context of other CWMS targets because some actions that improve water use efficiency can be detrimental to energy efficiency and biodiversity protection. The development of benchmarks is therefore part of the goals. There is a focus on irrigation water use, but goals for community water supplies and other uses are also included. 

Under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), goals were set to help make a difference to our environment and how natural resources are managed.  Environment Canterbury reports on progress on behalf of CWMS partnersHere's how things are progressing against 2020 goals.

Best practice and benchmarking

2020 goal: 80% of water used for irrigation and stockwater is operating according to best practice water use.

Has this goal been met?

Met
Partially met
Not met

Canterbury's irrigated area was estimated at 546,205 ha in 2020, up from an estimated 507,00 ha in 2017. Region-wide estimates of best-practice water use or efficiency are not available from existing data sets. However, reasonable estimates of water use efficiency can be made based on irrigation type.

Based on data from the National Irrigated Land Spatial Dataset: 2020 update, 58% of mapped irrigation in Canterbury can be classed as high efficiency. This is a seven-point increase from the 51% high-efficiency irrigation reported in 2019.

 

2020 goal: Reduced water used for community water supply by 10% (measured in litres per person for day) compared to that used in 2010.

Has this goal been met?

Met
Partially met
Not met

There is insufficient data available to report progress on these goals. The volume of water used in community water supplies is not measured at the regional level and it is unlikely to be measured consistently at the district level.

Territorial authorities undertake work to reduce water use, with some charging users based on volume used. Some territorial authorities also run campaigns to educate and promote lower water use, especially in high urban growth districts.

 

2020 goal: Increased the benefits gained per unit of water so that the volume of water beneficially used (used in production of crops, electricity, or commercial uses) in each zone as a proportion of the volume of water take is, on average, 5% greater than that achieved in 2010.

Has this goal been met?

Met
Partially met
Not met

The beneficial use of water is not measured and no work has been undertaken to progress this. Central Government reform in this area will result in considerable progress over the next 10 years to improve water efficiency and beneficial use.

Highlights to date
  • No highlights to date.

Looking forward to 2025
  • Environment Canterbury will continue to work with water consent holders, central government and the service industry to improve metering and the coverage of data transfer systems.

  • Local governments will be identifying and making improvements to infrastructure to increase water efficiency and reduce wastage.
  • The current operational delivery of Three Waters infrastructure is likely to change over the next few years as a result of central government’s Three Waters Review. However, this will drive improvements in water use efficiency.

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