Farmers who have increased their water intake from 2008 should be applying as soon as possible or phoning the council to talk about their options.
The crunch date is January 2015, when the grandparenting right for some farmers who are in over-allocated areas will end. Farmers who don’t apply by that date could find it difficult to get water.
The council has received 330 consent applications from farmers out of the potential 3500 applications they expect to get from the region by the end of the process. The consents already received include more than 220 consent applications from the Waihou catchment, which had its closing date in December last year.
The Lower Waikato and West Coast catchment has the next closing date, on March 29, with Upper Waipa, King Country and Coromandel on July 31, and Lower Waipa and Raglan on November 29. The Upper Waikato and Piako catchment deadlines are next year, on March 31 and July 31 respectively.
If farmers submit their consent applications before the closing dates it will help the council streamline the process and keep the costs down. Being able to process a number of people with similar attributes at one time means costs can be kept lower, because the council charges by the hour.
Water-use field days
DairyNZ is holding field days on water-use efficiency during February and March to help dairy farmers adjust to farming within their water consents.
The idea of the days is for farmers to exchange ideas on how to become more efficient with water used in the farm dairy.
The smart water-use field days start at 10.30am. Dates are available on www.dairynz.co.nz.