Waikato Regional Council monitors groundwater availability to protect our region’s groundwater resources. When too much groundwater is taken from aquifers1:
Groundwater makes up about 90 percent of our region’s freshwater resource, and is used for drinking, industry, agriculture and horticulture. Waikato Regional Council monitors groundwater availability to help protect our region’s groundwater supplies and ensure we use them sustainably.
Waikato Regional Council monitors ‘available’ levels of groundwater to ensure groundwater resources are used sustainably.
‘Available’ groundwater is the total volume of groundwater that can be taken from an aquifer without affecting the aquifer. This simple assessment of available groundwater treats the aquifer in isolation to any connected streams and rivers. Areas listed as having low or medium stress may be having a significant impact on nearby streams and rivers. This impact on streams and rivers is managed separately through the resource consent process, when people request to take groundwater, and may restrict the ability to take groundwater. As more water is taken from an aquifer, the volume of ‘available’ groundwater for future use drops. We estimate the level of stress on groundwater resources by comparing the volume of ‘available’ groundwater to the volume that’s already been allocated for use.
Waikato Regional Council divides the groundwater resources we monitor in our region into three categories: low, medium and high stress.
More detail on this indicator, including how and where Waikato Regional Council collects this information, is available in the Technical Information page.
This indicator is updated every three years.
Hydrogeologist - Science and Strategy Directorate