Water-meter progress slow
More than 40 per cent of Canterbury's large water-consent holders have not installed compulsory meters, but the regional council is not issuing any fines just yet.
The Government required all consent-holders with water takes of 20 litres per second or more to have meters installed by November, but as of last week, Environment Canterbury said of the 5527 water takes, only 55 per cent (3040) had fully complied with the regulations.
ECan resource management director Kim Drummond said it would not issue abatement notices or fine anyone who had not met the requirements yet.
"Although 55 per cent had complied, 33 per cent had confirmed they would install a water measuring system, and 12 per cent had not responded to requests for information," he said.
"We started a compliance programme on November 12 with a selection of the water-consent holders we had not heard from and who were potentially non-compliant with the water- measuring regulations."
Mr Drummond said ECan had issued letters to those refusing to comply, while persistent failure would eventually force ECan to issue fines or abatement notices.
An ECan spokesman said it had wanted everyone to comply by now. However, he could not confirm whether there was a "deadline" before ECan would start issuing abatement notices or fines.
"We are aiming for 100 per cent compliance, but it is pleasing to see farmers recognising the benefits of measuring water use and making more efficient use of water," he said.
All information taken from the meters would determine whether the consent-holder is complying with its limits.
When the Government announced the rule in 2010, it signalled the November 2012 deadline.
Consent-holders who take water at less than 5 litres per second have until 2016 to comply. ECan said there were 4775 total consents to take groundwater in the region, and 1346 to take surface water.
The Timaru Herald