25.13.2 Objectives and Policies: Three Waters

​​​​Objective Policies​​
Water resources are protected from the adverse effects of subdivision and development. ​ ​
Subdivision and development is located and designed to minimise adverse effects on ground and surface water resources, particularly the life-supporting capacity of water bodies and their riparian margins.​
Subdivision and development on the margins of natural watercourses and wetlands should be located and designed to maintain, and where possible enhance:
i.    Riparian margins.
ii.   Water quality.
iii.  Water resources.​
iv.  Aquatic habitats.


This objective and policies focus on the effects subdivision and development can have on water resources, and seeks that these effects be minimised. Land-use activities can impact on water resources, for example, by increasing stormwater flows over or into land, by increasing sediment loads, and increasing the demand for water-related infrastructure.

​Objective Policies​
Measure​s to facilitate the efficient use of water resources are incorporated into new subdivision and development. ​
Water-sensitive techniques are incorporated into new subdivision and development to reduce demand on water supplies, wastewater disposal and to manage stormwater.​


This objective and policy focuses on water conservation and efficiency, and in particular the incorporation of water-sensitive techniques into new subdivision and development to improve the level of water efficiency.

​Objective Policies​
Three Waters infrastructure is provided as part of subdivision and development, and in a way that is:​
  • Integrated
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Functional
  • Safe
  • Sustainable ​
​ ​ ​
All subdivision and development provides integrated Three Waters infrastructure and services to a level that is appropriate to their location and intended use.
Subdivision and development shall not occur unless the required infrastructure is available to service it.​
Three Waters infrastructure is to be designed and constructed in accordance with any existing Structure Plan and relevant Integrated Catchment Management Plan.​
Large scale subdivision and development proposals are to prepare an Integrated Catchment Management Plan (where one does not already exist) or a Water Impact Assessment.​


There are servicing constraints within the City. Early discussions with Council on the serviceability of development are necessary.

Integrated Catchment Management Plans will be used as a tool to help manage the form and function of Three Waters infrastructure in an integrated, effective, efficient, functional, safe and sustainable manner.

Over time Integrated Catchment Management Plans will be developed for existing urban areas. Structure Plans and large scale activities will require an Integrated Catchment Management Plan (as outlined in Volume 2, Appendix Until this occurs, stormwater, water and wastewater infrastructure must continue to be provided and managed. Water Impact Assessments are another complementary tool that will be used to assess and ensure Three Waters integration at a more detailed level.

C​ouncil maintains a register of all full ICMPs and can advise of any relevant to a particular development proposal and site.

Where there is conflict between a Structure Plan and an ICMP, the latter will prevail.​

Water-sensitive techniques to sustainably manage stormwater, water and wastewater are included as well as minimum permeable surfaces standards, which are provided in most Zone Chapters of the District Plan.

In areas where a full Integrated Catchment Management Plan does not exist the following policies also apply:
Three Waters infrastructure is designed and constructed to:​
i.​ Minim​​ise the effects of urban development on downstream receiving waters and groundwater.​
ii.​ Ensure that the capacity, efficiency and sustainability of upstream and downstream infrastructure will not be compromised.​
iii.​ Facilitate access, maintenance and operational requirements.​
iv.​ Cater for the potential effects of climate change.​
v.​ Ensure appropriate standards of public health, safety and amenity.​
vi.​ Ensure that surface water runoff is appropriately managed in accordance with the following drainage hierarchy.
1.  Retention for reuse.
2.  Soakage techniques.
3.  Detention and gradual release to a watercourse.
4.  Detention and gradual release to stormwater reticulation.​
Stormwater management techniques are designed and constructed to:
i.​ Maintain or improve the quality of stormwater entering the receiving environment.​
ii.​ Avoid or mitigate off-site effects from surface water runoff.​
iii.​ Sustainably manage the volume and rate of discharge of stormwater to the receiving environment.​
Water Supply
Water supply infrastructure is designed and constructed to meet consumption, hygiene, water-sensitive design and firefighting requirements.
Wastewater is treated and disposed of in a way that minimises effects on public health, the environment, and cultural values.​


Three Waters infrastructure is a key component of subdivision, use and development. It needs to be developed sustainably and agreed upon at the planning stage of the development. All new greenfield areas must have a Structure Plan and an Integrated Catchment Management Plan in place before development begins. Integrated catchment management planning is a process whereby the effects of development on all Three Waters infrastructure capacity and the appropriateness and integrity of proposed treatments and reticulation systems and networks are designed to manage the change or intensification and assessed and used to help guide decisions. This objective and policies provide support to the direction in Chapter 2: Strategic Framework and Chapter 3: Structure Plans to avoid a situation where Three Waters planning occurs independent to land-use planning.

The objective and policies also provide direction for minimum requirements for the design of Three Waters infrastructure and services in the absence of an Integrated Catchment Management Plan.

Climate change may impact on the frequency and intensity of storm events and other weather extremes such as droughts. The impact of these changes needs to be considered as part of the long term management of the Three Waters.

Page reviewed: 12 Sep 2016 3:59pm