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Dairy shed water takes - water for dairy shed wash down and milk cooling

Image - dairy shed washdown

If you need to take water for dairy shed purposes, then you might need a resource consent from us. Read the information on these pages for a better understanding of the rules and processes.

If you've got more questions or need help with your consent application, please call our Farm Water team on our consent enquiries freephone. Ring 0800 800 402.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Click on a topic below to read some FAQs.  Or see the full FAQ document [PDF, 567 KB] for all the questions and answers in one place.

Click here for FAQs on allocation status and hydrology

Click here for FAQs on rules and consent process


Click here for FAQs on consent requirements and conditions

Click here for FAQs on ownership, property sale and purchase and consent transfers


Click here for FAQs on riparian vegetation  management plans Click here for FAQs on water meters and records


Variation 6 (Water Allocation) to the Waikato Regional Plan establishes Waikato Regional Council's rules for managing the allocation of water in the Waikato region. Under Variation 6, farmers taking water for dairy shed wash down and milk cooling will likely require a resource consent.

If you’re looking to convert a farm, we recommend you seek professional advice and/or contact us via our 0800 800 402 enquiries line to discuss water availability and consent processes as part of your initial scoping process.

For more information on these rules:

Find out more about the Waikato Regional Plan, our planning document that contains regulation, policy and methods for managing the region's natural resources.

Resource consent applications for dairy shed water takes

It's possible that you may NOT require a consent

  • If all your dairy shed water comes from a consented source such as a municipal or privately run water supply scheme you won’t need a consent, as the scheme operator should already have one. Check directly with the scheme operator if you are unsure of their consent status or want to understand the supply arrangements you have with them. 
  • If you take less than 15 cubic metres of water from groundwater (bores or wells) for your dairy shed you do not require a consent. If you own multiple titles with a bore on each title, you can take up to 15 cubic metres from each bore as a permitted activity. (Refer to Permitted Activtity Rule
  • If you take less than 15 cubic metres of water from a surface water source (streams, springs, rivers, lakes, drains etc) you may not require a consent (refer to Permitted Activity But you can't take more than the “primary allocable flow” of the waterway (refer to table 3-5 of the Waikato Regional Plan). This varies, but conservatively, if you take less than 5 per cent of the low flow you’re probably within that primary allocable flow. 
  • If you take water directly from the Waikato or Waipāa rivers you can take up to 30 cubic metres per day as a permitted activity (refer to Permitted Activity

But some farmers taking less than 15 cubic metres per day from surface water may still need to apply for a consent.

If any of the following scenarios apply to you, then please talk to us. It's possible you might need a consent.

  • You take from a spring or small stream, and take more than 5 per cent of the low flow (the flow of the water during a dry summer).
  • It's possible that, between yourself and your neighbours, more than 5 per cent of the stream's low flow could be taken.
  • You started taking water after October 2008.

A summary document of this information [PDF, 99 KB] is available for you to read or download.