Water conservation order

A water conservation order is a legal ruling to protect aspects of water bodies. It may be to protect the quantity of the water itself or for any issues relating to the water body as a whole.

New ZealandEdit

In New Zealand, a Water Conservation Order is used to protect the natural, cultural and recreational values of any water body.[1] Water Conservation Orders came about as a result of lobbying by a group of stakeholders in the late seventies. At that time rivers were managed through the Water & Soil Conservation Act, which was administered by an appointed statutory body (NWASCA) serviced by the Ministry of Works. The engineers of the Ministry of Works argued that there was no need to legislate further as the Act contained provision for setting Minimum Flows.

There are currently 15 separate Water Conservation Orders:[2]

A water conservation order has been proposed for the Hurunui River in the South Island.

Irrigation New Zealand, the national body representing agricultural irrigators and the irrigation industry, opposes water conservation orders. Irrigation NZ considers they no longer have relevance, they lock up the water resource and they may bankrupt the nation.[3][4]


  1. ^ Part 9 of the Resource Management Act 1991
  2. ^ "Existing water conservation orders". Ministry for the Environment. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Water Conservation Orders Have No Role In Sustainable Future" (Press release). Irrigation NZ. 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  4. ^ Curtis, Andrew (6 October 2017). "Andrew Curtis: Water conservation orders dam up vital discussion". Stuff. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2018.

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