Public notice

Kakanui OVERSEER information request

Monday 4 July 2016

In consultation with the community, Otago Regional Council (ORC) developed a plan for managing rural water quality in our region. The Water Plan gives landholders the flexibility to manage their land activities in such a way that the water quality of our freshwater resources such as rivers, lakes and aquifers continues to be of a high standard both now and in the future.

On 30 June 2016 the ORC wrote to landholders in the Kakanui community, south of Oamaru, requesting their participation in a groundwater and surface water science study to measure the nitrogen leaching rate from their land. This is in response to the Kakanui community requesting ORC to review the nitrogen leaching threshold over the Kakanui-Kauru Alluvial Aquifer.

A computer model called OVERSEERĀ® will be used to collect data for this study between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. OVERSEERĀ® will be used to calculate losses of nitrogen through the ground, known as the nitrogen leaching rate. Knowing the nitrogen leaching rate helps inform our science work in relation to potential impact on water quality from land use activities.

Certified Nutrient Management Advisors (CNMA) will work alongside landowners for the duration of the study and will prepare a report on the findings. They will provide the report to landholders and then relevant information for the science study to ORC. A list of CNMAs working in Otago can be found at:

The results will:

  • Inform the ORC policy team on whether any change to the nitrogen leaching threshold needs to be amended in the Water Plan.
  • Provide landowners with information about their nitrogen leaching rate. This will show them where they stand before the Water Plan rules become operative in 2020. Landowners who do not comply with the water quality thresholds may need to apply for resource consent.

This science study is just one step in the process of the ORC and landowners working together to ensure the Water Plan is right for their community, particularly in an environmental, social, and economic context.

If you have any queries please contact:

James White
North Otago based
Liaison Specialist
0800 474 082

Suzanne Watt
Dunedin based
Programme manager rural water quality
0800 474 082

Please find below the link to an interactive map that shows land area in relation to the Kakanui-Kauru Alluvial Aquifer: