The Otago region is blessed with abundant freshwater generated in the Southern Alps. It sustains the region’s ecosystems, recreation, tourism, agriculture and hydroelectric dams and is the source of all drinking water for the area.
Otago Regional Council, which is required to develop freshwater objectives and set freshwater quality and quantity limits, has a broad programme of work underway to give effect to the National Policy Statement (NPS) on freshwater management.
Environment Aotearoa 2019 uses five themes to look into nine priority issues – those that matter most to the current state of our environment. Issue 6 deals with how taking water changes flows, which affects our freshwater ecosystems.
Regional councils collect information about how much water is available and manage resource consents for those wishing to take water from rivers or groundwater supplies. You can explore Water Quantity data from LAWA here. In the entire Otago region, there are approximately 35.72 billion m³ of rainfall per annum out of which 9.31 billion m³ arrive at sea each year.