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Future Water Policy Addressed At Water Forum

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

29 July 2008 - The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is presenting proposed changes to the Regional Plan: Water, for discussion at a forum entitled 'Watering the Future' at Cromwell on August 12 and 13.

The event is planned to progress thinking around the region's water management and allocation as part of an ORC review of its Regional Plan: Water.

More than 400 individuals and representatives of groups with substantial interests in Otago's water have been invited to the forum at the Cromwell Presbyterian Church which starts at 9.00am on Tuesday August 12.

ORC Director of Policy and Resource Planning Fraser McRae said this forum follows on from the first ORC water forum at Cromwell in 2006. That forum brought together people with an interest in water, to talk about options and opportunities for the future management of water.

Mr McRae said following the 2006 water forum ORC held 24 catchment meetings around Otago where discussions identified a strong desire for community self management of water. In response to these discussions ORC developed a strategy to help facilitate and accommodate the types of developments that will be necessary for future water management in Otago. Important components of the strategy include enabling a successful transition from the mining privilege system, taking a catchment-wide approach to sourcing water, and encouraging water use management that is based on co-operation between users.

"At the first forum we promised to develop draft policy to implement this strategy and present it to water users for discussion before final drafting and public notification," he said.

The draft policy builds on the previous forum and existing Water Plan, and includes measures on: Allocating water as primary and supplementary consents Water sourcing Community governance

The forum will also hear about recent Government policies being developed for sustainable water management.

Mr McRae said that the water forum gives people a chance to participate in development of additional provisions for the allocation and use of water in Otago under the Water Plan.

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