How much water are you using?

You cannot manage what you do not measure


You cannot manage what you do not measure is the key point when it comes to using water efficiently and a water meter is the most effective way to monitor water use.

If you are consented to take more than 5 litres per second, the Ministry for the Environment requires you to install a water measuring device and provide annual water use information to your regional council.

Water meters

Water meters are also beneficial in that they can detect small leaks and losses in your irrigation system and they can track seasonal and annual water consumption on your orchard.

You need a water meter that is fit for purpose, taking into consideration your water source, your irrigation system and your business needs. Installation must be installed to manufacturer’s specifications and calibrated to ensure it will accurately measure flow.  Verification that your water meter is measuring accurately is an important step in the process.  See your regional information below to be sure your water meter will meet your regional council’s requirements.  It is the grower’s responsibility to ensure this is done.

The Irrigation NZ website provides information on ‘Blue Tick’ approved installed water meter verifiers. Click here:  Blue Tick accredited companies

Once your meter has been installed, you will need to record and submit your water use data to council.

There are two ways that your water use can be reported. It can be manually recorded and submitted or electronically captured and submitted.

Increasingly telemetry is being used, this allows water meter data to transmit automatically from grower to regulator. This technology also gives grower’s greater accuracy, verifying their take and allowing options to manage their water takes online and from their smartphone. This latter option is in line with government’s proposed amendment to metering regulations see Chapter 5.12 Action for Healthy Waterways Discussion Paper (September 2019).

Combined with soil moisture monitoring, the information collected by your water meter can help you make better real-time decisions on your orchard.

Check the conditions of your water consent to see how often you need to read your meter and submit data. The most common conditions require that daily readings are sent at the end of each month.


Water-take consent holders who don’t comply with conditions of their consent face enforcement action, including penalty fees.