Maximum annual volume for consumptive use of water in New Zealand

Excluding hydroelectricity, by use, year ended June 2014, millions of cubic metres per year


Primary use: The primary purpose for which the water is being used. ‘Other’ use comprises consents for stock, frost protection, combined/mix, not specified, or other.
Primary source: The primary source from which the water is being abstracted.

Data calculation/treatment

Figure.NZ calculated the relevant summary statistics to mirror the data presented in the Environmental Reporting Series (see Figures 1, 2 and 3)

Limitations of the data

These indicators do not represent actual water takes or actual flow reductions. Maximum potential flow alteration from all consented takes is represented by using consent information (rather than actual takes). All groundwater takes were assumed to influence river flows. The effects of non-consumptive hydroelectric operations (at dams) and takes for permitted activities, such as for stock water, are not included. Some consent conditions require takes to cease or be restricted during times of low flow or during other environmental conditions. NIWA and Stats NZ did not include the effects of these restrictions on takes in this analysis due to lack of nationwide data availability.


The summary statistics exclude hydroelectricity the assumption that it is generally non-consumptive use.

Data provided by

Ministry for the Environment

Dataset name

Environmental Reporting: Consented freshwater takes 2013–2014


How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Download' from the top right of the screen. You will have to register to download this dataset.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Environmental Reporting: Consented freshwater takes 2013–2014

From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Consented freshwater takes 2013–2014, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Sheet1
  • Range: B4:D32
  • Provided: 45 data points

This data forms the table Environment - Consented freshwater takes by use and source 2014.

Dataset originally released on:

April 26, 2017

Method of collection/Data provider

All 16 regional and unitary councils supplied consent information on water takes. Consent information includes location of the take, maximum instantaneous rate (maximum rate at which abstraction may occur), maximum annual volume (maximum volume of water that can be abstracted in a year), whether it is groundwater or surface water take, and primary use (eg for irrigation or drinking water). Only ‘active’ consents (ie consents not expired) at 14 February 2014 were used because this date falls near the likely peak of the irrigation season for the water reporting year 2013–14.