Independent scientific research for the benefit of New Zealand.

Sustainable Water Allocation Project

For stakeholders in freshwater management in New Zealand (government, industry, iwi and conservation organisations), prudent decisions about water allocation are very challenging.

There are conflicting demands for consumptive water use and for maintaining flows for river ecosystems, and both demands are increasing. In addition, water use strategies (e.g., storage, inter-basin transfers) and environmental flow rules (e.g., minimum flows, gaps between allocation blocks) are becoming increasingly complex.

Under these conditions, stakeholders require accurate information, practical guidance, and fit-for-purpose tools to make allocation decisions, set environmental flows, and identify trade-offs between economic and environmental costs and benefits. The Sustainable Water Allocation programme was designed to meet these needs.

The principal aims of the programme are to provide the predictive relationships, risk and uncertainty assessments, and research and management tools required for effective river flow management.

Funder: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Strategic Science Investment Fund

Partners and collaborators: NIWA, Cawthron Institute, University of Canterbury, Tipa and Associates and ESR.

For more information please contact John Hayes or view our Freshwater Services.

Stakeholders require accurate information, practical guidance, and fit-for-purpose tools to make allocation decisions, set environmental flows, and identify trade-offs between economic and environmental costs and benefits.

Photo: Angus McIntosh, University of Canterbury