Information about stock water takes

Tuesday 16 July 2019

How much you can take, and what it can be used for.

We’ve had a few questions around stock drinking water and whether you need a consent for this. Below are some answers to help clarify the situation:


It has been suggested that I get a water consent for my stock water, what should I do?

In the first instance, please speak to our Consents team at ORC before you think about applying for a water permit and before you engage a consultant. Our Consents team provide half an hour of free advice and will take you through the rules that are relevant to your property and give you property specific advice. If you would like to take advantage of this, please call us on 0800 474082 or send an email requesting a meeting to:


What water can I take for my stock without a consent?

In Otago, you are permitted to take water for stock drinking and domestic use. You cannot use this allocation for irrigation or other uses, such as washing down the dairy shed. If you wish to use water for any other use, you may need a consent and we recommend that you talk to our consents team (contact details above).


What rules cover my permitted take for my stock’s drinking water?

The rules are covered by rule and of the Regional Plan: Water for Otago. In brief, you can take water of a volume no greater than 25,000 litres per day per take as long as it does not have an adverse effect on the environment. In North Otago, Maniototo and Central Otago you are restricted to taking up to this amount at a maximum rate of 0.5 litres per second, but for the rest of Otago, a maximum take of 1 litre per second is allowed. If you require more water than this, please talk to our Consents team as there are other options to explore before you might need to apply for a consent.


Can I get a consent to protect my stock water?

No, the provision for stock water is a permitted activity and we can’t give a consent for a permitted activity. If you need confirmation that your water take is a permitted activity, you can apply for a Code of Compliance. Please contact the Consents team for details.


How do I know how much water I am taking and using?

The responsibility is with you to take only the water you need for your stock drinking needs. For example, if you need 10,000 litres a day, then that is all you should be taking. In order to confirm how much water you are taking, a meter may be required.