Water management

Water management is one of the themes we're working on. Here's a brief description of what we're doing and links to our published reports about water...

Progress with our water management work 

Topic Status
Introducing our work programme - Water management Published
Drinking waterProtecting drinking-water sources
Looking at: How well local authorities are protecting drinking-water supply sources to ensure that there is enough safe and reliable drinking water for now and for the future.
No longer going ahead*
Drinking waterOptimising demand and supply
Looking at: How local authorities balance demand for and supply of drinking water to ensure adequacy of drinking-water supply on a financially sustainable basis.
Under way
FreshwaterQuality management
Looking at: The progress Waikato, Taranaki, Horizons, and Southland Regional Councils have made in managing impacts to their freshwater quality since our last audit in 2011.
Under way
FreshwaterClean-up spending
Looking at: How the Ministry for the Environment selects and monitors the performance of the organisations that it funds to improve and recover water quality. And whether its various freshwater funds are meeting objectives.
Under way
FreshwaterMonitoring irrigation
Looking at: How effective the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010 have been in creating opportunities for better and more efficient use of water.
StormwaterReducing the effects of flooding
Looking at: How well local authorities are managing their stormwater networks to reduce flood risk, including how councils identify their flood hazards and determine levels of service for the stormwater network.
Under way
Marine environmentReserve proposals
Looking at: The decision-making processes for considering whether to designate marine reserve status for a body of water. The processes used to develop proposals and decide whether to designate a body of water as a marine reserve.
Under way
Marine environmentSpatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf
Looking at: How one multi-sector group is trying to balance competing water issues through taking a place-based approach to addressing the pressures on an area of national significance – the Hauraki Gulf.
Under way

* This audit has been superceded by developments following on from the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry. In our view, continuing with the work we had planned would no longer be a good use of taxpayers' money.

Other water-related work

As well as the work listed above, we are looking at the significant water management matters that councils are consulting their communities about when preparing their 10-year long-term plans and 30-year infrastructure strategies. This involves identifying, where available, councils' information on the cost implications of meeting environmental standards. We are also interested in understanding how councils are responding to the findings and recommendations of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry, including how they are considering the resilience of their infrastructure. We’ll be reporting our findings and observations from looking at long-term plans in two reports:

  • in August we plan to publish a report on how local authorities consulted their communities on the 10-year plans; and 
  • later in the year, we will publish our usual report on matters arising from our audits of the latest long-term plans.

About our water management theme

Focus of our current work programme - water managementNew Zealanders rely on water for their long-term health and economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being. Some of the most important environmental and economic issues that New Zealand currently faces are associated with water.

Under our theme of water management, we're looking at how well the public sector manages water. We're exploring aspects of drinking water, freshwater, stormwater, and marine waters. Our aim is to help improve public management of water through sharing our observations of good practice and innovation, and identifying barriers to these.

We won't be commenting on the policies of the Government or local authorities. We also do not intend to duplicate any of the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Our published reports about water

Here's a list of work we've already produced about water:

No results were found.