Stockwater update: 14 June 2024

Published: 14 June 2024

14 June 2024

Council is reminding farmers new to the Ashburton District that animals drinking from stockwater races need to be at a properly formed drinking bay.

Livestock, in particular cattle, deer and pigs, must not be allowed access to stand in water races at any time of the year.

Moving Day results in thousands of dairy cattle moving to new or temporary winter-feeding properties, and some of those properties receive stockwater via the district’s water race network.

Cows drinking

It is necessary for these races to be fenced off and have proper drinking bays installed before cattle are able to access the water race.

Drinking bays can be easily constructed using wooden or concrete posts and/or boards to shore up the banks and prevent the animals from stepping into or standing in the race to drink.  A hot wire across the top of the race helps to keep the stock back from stepping into the waterway.

Other stockwater news:

  • The intake at Pudding Hill continues to very experience low flows, and this in turn is causing low flows in some races especially in the Highbank and Barrhill areas. People should have an alternative water source for their animals, as stockwater flow is not guaranteed.
  • Property owners must ensure that the races through their properties are kept clear of debris and any material that can causes blockages which may impact the water flow to downstream users.
  • Proposed new rates for stockwater users are part of the Long Term Plan set to be approved by Council on 26 June. A targeted rate will be determined in accordance with the following factors:
    • A rate of $700 where the total length of any stockwater races, aqueducts or water channels that pass through, along, or adjacent to, or abuts the rating unit does not exceed 246 metres in length; and
    • A rate of 58 cents per metre where the total length of any stockwater races, aqueducts or water channels that pass through, along or adjacent to, or abuts the rating unit exceeds 246 metres in length.
    • As part of the new Long Term Plan, Council is also planning to exit the stockwater service by 30 June 2027 – a stockwater working group will be established to monitor progress.
  • Any property owner who wishes to close or alter a water race needs to complete and submit the necessary application forms which are available on Council’s website : .   Consultation is required with all affected parties for any race closure or race alteration that may impact more than one property. Races must not be closed or altered without Council consent.

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