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Water monitoring to cost about $40 million - minister

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, May 4 NZPA - Metering water use is going to cost big consumers about $40 million, Environment Minister Nick Smith has told Parliament.

He announced on Friday that 92 percent of the national water take will be metered by 2012 and 98 percent by 2016.

At present only about 32 percent is metered and Dr Smith says that isn't nearly enough for a fresh water management plan to be implemented.

The big users will have to pay for metering and monitoring water use of over five litres a second, which doesn't apply to households because they use far less than that.

Dr Smith said today the regulations would affect 11,000 resource consent holds.

Consents of over 20 litres a second would have to have meters by 2012, over 10 litres by 2014 and the smaller five litre consents by 2016.

"The initiative is expected to come at an overall cost of about $40 million but this needs to be considered in the context of water being worth over $5 billion a year to the economy," he said.

"The regulations do contain pragmatic exemptions to ensure that the cost of metering is only required where it is necessary and will help us improve water management."

The metering regulations will affect farmers, industry and municipal water supply companies which hold water permits for taking it at five litres a second or more.

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