An ‘Enhanced Transfer’ Water Allocation System

Marlborough District Council (MDC) has had water allocation frameworks in place for over ten years.  The amount of water allocated for abstraction through consents and permitted activities is, on paper, approaching or has reached the limits of allocation prescribed in these frameworks for a number of water management zones.  The basis of future economic growth in those zones will need to include efficiency improvements and storage.  A water allocation model that incentivises efficiency improvements, minimises process costs incurred in transferring water, and provides greater certainty about allocations to in-stream and out-of-stream water uses was needed to better equip Marlborough to meet the challenge of managing water allocations in fully allocated zones.

A new framework for managing the allocation and use of water in New Zealand had already been developed by Aqualinc for the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development.  The purpose of this project is to determine the feasibility of applying the NZBCSD water allocation framework to manage water allocation in Marlborough.

Through applying a water allocation model developed for Marlborough from this framework in three case studies the project identified the strengths, weaknesses and feasibility of the new model, and provided recommendations concerning the use of the water allocation model on all managed water resources in the District.

Contact person: John Bright j.bright@aqualinc.co.nz




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