The district council operates a vast network of open races providing stockwater to rural properties in the district. The open race network is divided into four distinct areas; Methven / Lauriston; Winchmore / Rakaia; Montalto / Hinds; and Mt Somers / Willowby.
The council also provides stockwater via two piped schemes in Methven / Springfield and Montalto areas. These schemes are used by household purposes and are treated to provide potable water.
The open race network has been in existence for over 100 years and uses water taken from rivers, springs the Rangitata Diversion Race and other irrigation schemes within the district. Water is sourced from 58 locations / intakes, 31 of which are consented through Environment Canterbury and the balance through agreements with various irrigation schemes.
There are approximately 365 km of main races and 3,230 km of minor races within the system. Surplus water through the system is returned back to surface/ground water via some 95 disposal points.
The day-to-day management of the open race stockwater network is carried out by four water rangers. The rangers are responsible for flow monitoring, organising network maintenance and capital works, and enforcing the stockwater bylaw. The rangers are also available to assist property owners with specific issues relating to races and will offer guidance where appropriate.
This area is bordered by the north branch Ashburton River, Winchmore Lauriston Road, Lauriston Barrhill Road, Rakaia River and the foothills. The water ranger is: Evan Pritchard
This area is bordered by the north branch Ashburton River, Winchmore Lauriston Road, Lauriston Barrhill Road, Rakaia River and the coast.
This area is bordered by the Rangitata River, the foothills, Hinds River and the coast.
The water ranger is: Dave O'Donnell