Indicative water quantity allocation maps

Disclaimer: The level of allocation shown in these maps is indicative only

These maps show how much water is currently allocated to be taken from Northland's rivers and aquifers. The level of allocation is then compared to the allocation limits in the proposed Regional Plan.

Important Note:

The level of allocation shown on the maps does not include:

(a)   Takes for stock drinking water and domestic purposes under Section 14(3)(b) of the RMA. This is because the proposed allocation limits in the plan do not apply to these types of takes; and

(b)   Takes that can be undertaken as a permitted activity (excluding existing dairy shed use). This is because the council does not have records of permitted activity takes.

This means that in some areas the actual amount of water that is allocated to be taken may exceed what is displayed. On the other hand, the maps may overstate the level of water allocation in some areas because of the estimates and assumptions used in our allocation calculator (see “Map limitations and use” below).

Indicative surface water allocation

The following map shows the level of surface water allocation at each river reach.

Open the Indicative Surface Water Allocation Map

Indicative groundwater allocation

The following map shows the level of groundwater allocation for Northland’s aquifers.

Open the Indicative Groundwater Allocation Map

The ‘thatched’ groundwater areas show where groundwater allocation is estimated to be high based on the allocation of connected surface water. Taking groundwater in these areas has the potential to impact on surface flows due to connectivity between groundwater and surface water.

We have also highlighted several small coastal aquifers that may be under high demand pressure, mainly because of domestic takes.

Map limitations and use

The allocation calculator used in the maps is regularly updated from our consents database and produces maps that estimate how much water is currently allocated.

These maps show indicative allocations only and cannot be relied solely on to determine actual allocations. This is because:

  • Takes for stock drinking water and domestic purposes under Section 14(3)(b) of the RMA have not been included;
  • We have estimated the amount of water being taken and the locations of the takes for existing dairy shed use from known herd size and a nationally accepted water allocation per cow;
  • For rivers, some of the allocations are based on modelled seven-day mean annual low flows for the catchment based on continuous flow recorder sites in other catchments; and
  • The annual groundwater recharge rates for aquifers other than the Aupouri have been based on annual average rainfall estimates3.

For the Aupouri Peninsula, the annual groundwater recharge has been estimated based on numerical modelling2. This has provided a greater level of certainty and allowed Council to set an actual allocation limit.

We can provide you with further information on the level of allocation within specific parts of a catchment or river. Please contact us if you have any questions.


1. Hydrological Estimates for Northland. 2012. NIWA.

2. Aupouri Aquifer Review. April 2015. Lincoln Agritech Limited. 

3. Aquifer Extent Review. June 2016. WM Group.