Water metering and measuring

Water metering regulations were introduced by the Government in 2010 to ensure sustainable management of freshwater, protect our freshwater resources into the future, and acknowledge the fundamental importance of water to all New Zealanders. 

These regulations require any permit which extracts 5 litres or more per second to measure and report on the amount of water extracted. The regulations apply to all types of takes-whether pumped, piped, gravity-fed, or in open races.

If your water permit already requires your take to be measured, including takes of less than 5 litres per second, you must still comply with the measuring requirements in your permit conditions. All takes more than 5 litres per second should be in compliance with the consent conditions and regulations.

We recommend you approach a water metering equipment company to discuss your options. A list of providers/installers is available at the following link. This list is not exhaustive, and appearing on the list does not constitute an endorsement by Otago Regional Council.

Companies involved with the installation of water measuring equipment
Pull-out guide on water measuring devices
Frequently asked questions about the Regulations
Minimum requirements for measurement & reporting of water takes
Water metering compliance tips brochure

Reporting of Data by Existing Consent Holders

The regulations require water use data to be reported by 31 July each year. To assist, we have developed a template for recording water takes. This spreadsheet will calculate daily volumes and complies with our reporting requirements.

Download the water use calendar template

Once completed the information can be emailed to ORC at watermetering@orc.govt.nz.

Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Amendment Regulations 2020

To support the Action on healthy waterways package, the amended Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations make real-time reporting of water use to councils mandatory for consented users.

The amendments mean that if you have a resource consent to take 5 litres or more of water per second (e.g. for irrigation) you will need to measure the water you take every 15 minutes and report this electronically to ORC on a daily basis. This is achieved using a telemetry system.

The introduction of this requirement is being staggered. You must comply within:

  • Two years for consents to take 20 litres per second or more;
  • Four years for consents to take between 10 and less than 20 litres per second;
  • Six years for consents to take between 5 and less than 10 litres per second.

Note: Resource consent conditions may require telemetry before the dates outlined in the regulations.

In the coming months we will be reviewing and updating the guidance on this page to help water users get ready for these changes.


Verification of Accuracy

Verification of the accuracy of the equipment must be provided to us as part of your installation. It must be done by a council-approved supplier. Companies listed above can be used for this purpose.

Use the forms below after installing or verifying a water measuring device.

RS1 Piped Takes — Water Meter and Datalogger Installation, Commissioning and Verification

Complete this form after installation of a new measuring device or datalogger for piped takes and when undertaking verification of an existing or new measuring device: 
RS1 Piped takes, water meter, datalogger installation/commissioning and verification

Water metering quick tips

RS2 Open Channel — Water Measuring Device and Datalogger Installation, Commissioning and Verification

Complete this form after installation of a new measuring device or datalogger for Open Channel takes and when undertaking verification of an existing or new measuring device:
RS2 Open channel water measuring device and datalogger installation, commissioning and verification

Open Channel quick tips

Download the open channel maintenance log template

RS4 Piped Takes — Non-Standard Installation Approval

Complete this form if a water meter installation for a piped take cannot comply with the Otago Regional Council Standards and the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010. This form is to be used once all alternative options have been investigated and the manufacturer/supplier can confirm that the selected system will operate adequately within the proposed installation setup.

RS4 Piped takes non-standard installation approval

Application for Exemptions

The regulations require the water take to be:

  1. measured at the point of take; and
  2. measured daily.

You can apply to be exempted from either of 1 and 2, (or both) by applying for an Exemption Notice under the regulations.

All applications will be assessed on their merits, however, it is not expected that there will be many instances where an exemption from daily measuring will be able to be granted.

A deposit of $200 must be paid when the exemption application is made and additional costs will be incurred to process the application. These will be invoiced once processing is completed.

An application form for applying for an exemption for measuring at the point of take is available here.

Please note: If you do not already have a water measuring device or system installed you will need to talk to a water metering company to determine the location closest to the point of take for water measuring device or system installation before lodging an application.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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