Indicative water quantity allocation maps

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 indicative surface water allocation maps does not include:

(a)   Takes for stock drinking water and domestic purposes under Section 14(3)(b) of the RMA; and

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

The level of allocation shown on the indicative groundwater allocation maps does include an estimate of takes for stock drinking water and domestic purposes under Section 14(3)(b) of the RMA and existing dairy shed use.

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

*Indicative Groundwater and Surface Water Allocation Maps: Due to issues with the data presented in the Indicative Groundwater and Surface Water Allocation Maps they have been temporarily disabled. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Indicative groundwater allocation

Maps are temporarily unavailable.

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.

The level of allocation shown on the indicative surface water allocation maps:

  • Does not include applications that are “in process”.
  • Does not include takes for stock drinking or domestic purposes under Section 14(3)(b) of the RMA taken from an individual stream.
  • Does not include takes that can be undertaken as a permitted activity nor dairy shed use. This is because the council does not have records of permitted activity takes from an individual stream.
  • The allocation limits are based on modelled seven-day mean annual low flows for many catchment or data from continuous flow recorder sites (where available).

The level of allocation shown on the indicative groundwater allocation maps:

  • Does not include applications that are “in process”.
  • Does include an estimate of takes for stock drinking water and domestic purposes under Section 14(3)(b) of the RMA and existing dairy shed use.
  • 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.
  • 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 subzone allocation limits.
  • For the Aupouri Peninsula, a groundwater take near a subzone boundary may also take water from the nearby subzones. This cross-boundary effect is considered when estimating the indicative allocation in the Aupouri Peninsula.

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.