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11.5 Where to from here?

The following are key points towards implementing improved future management of groundwater in Northland over the next five years:

· Continue state of environment monitoring and assessments of sustainable yields for aquifers. Priority aquifers should be those with limited assessment to date but potential increase in demand due to land use change.

· Undertake mean age testing and age distribution of aquifers in Northland to help analyse groundwater quality.

· Encourage all water users to register their ‘permitted takes' and locations of bores with the Council to enable greater understanding of the ‘actual' water taken in aquifers.

· Ensure accurate water metering of consented takes and water use analysis to enable a better understanding of the volume of water abstracted from aquifers and the effects on water resources.

· All groundwater monitoring bores are to be inspected and, if required, work undertaken to prevent potential contaminants entering the bore. This will reduce the risk of microbiological contamination (E. coli) resulting from poor construction of monitoring bores.

· Management of water allocation limits for aquifers in Northland to provide water use security for users and sustainable allocation of water resources.

· Review of the Regional Plan rules to ensure they are adequate for requiring that assessments of the cumulative effects of subdivision, land use and development on water resources are undertaken and thus avoiding 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, and groundwater discharge.

· Prioritise and implement recommendations in the preliminary hydrogeological reports based on current and potential future demands.