Earlier this year, Environment Canterbury released the
Council's decision on the proposed Canterbury Land and Water
Regional Plan (LWRP). The LWRP represents a new framework for
managing Canterbury's water resources and for delivering the
outcomes set out in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
A key part of the LWRP and one which will have a major impact on
rural land users, is the requirement for farmers to gather data on
nutrient losses – in particular nitrogen – and to
develop nutrient budgets using the "Overseer®"
Nutrient budgets are required under the LWRP because the plan
sets limits on the amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen that can
be leached into the environment – especially in zones where
current water quality objectives are not being met. In the
"red" zones (those areas where current water quality
objectives are not being met) this will affect the ability of
farmers to change land uses, for example converting from dryland to
irrigated farming or from sheep/beef to dairy farming. In the
future, resource consents will be required to leach more than
specified amounts of nitrogen per year and farm environment plans
will become an essential farm management tool.
Environment Canterbury is currently encouraging all farmers to
collect their nitrogen loss data for the period 2009 – 2013
and to use "Overseer®" to prepare nutrient budgets.
These will be used to generate nitrogen baselines against which
future discharges will be measured. You may have noticed ads
appearing in the farming pages of the Christchurch Press reminding
farmers that they need to do this
If you have any questions about the new LWRP rules, the
implications of these new rules for your farming business, or you
are thinking of buying or selling rural land or even leasing rural
land, please contact our rural specialists Richard Parkes on 03 339
5610 or Caroline Mason on 03 339 5606 for advice. We can help you
to identify the potential impact of these new rules and can advise
you on their implications for your farming business.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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