The following are areas that are currently not being addressed, which will be looked at in more detail in the future:
· Ensure accurate water metering of consented takes and water use analysis to enable a better understanding of the volume of water abstracted within catchments and the effects on water resources.
· Encourage all water users to register their ‘permitted takes' with the Council to enable greater understanding of the ‘actual' water taken in catchments.
· Establish design minimum flows (DMF, which is the minimum flow required to be maintained) for a greater number of catchments by:
(a) Increasing the coverage of flow measurement stations during periods of low flow periods; and
(b) Naturalising flows, which is making sure that the total volume of water taken for consented and permitted takes is included in the assessment to ensure the DMF is in fact the natural flow.
· Increase the number of telemetered rainfall and water level stations to enhance coverage of Northland to aid in flood protection and SOE monitoring.
· Increase monitoring of flows and water levels in pristine water rivers and lakes for SOE information.
· Include defined water allocation limits (i.e. maximum total volumes allocatable for water bodies) in the NRC's Northland Plans to provide water use securities for users and sustainable allocation of water resources.
· Include rules in Northland's plans to ensure assessment of cumulative effects of subdivision on water resources and to avoid inappropriate development.
· Undertake flow measurement of springs in volcanic areas, coinciding with groundwater level measurements to gain a better understanding of surface and groundwater interaction. Refer to groundwater section for more information.
In response to drought severities local authorities should promote:
· Public awareness of the drought and associated water resource problems ie water conservation measures.
· Intensified monitoring of water resource availability.
· Where necessary, the use of temporary emergency measures, available under the RMA, to protect water resources and/or restrict use of water.