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Council provides stockwater services to rural properties in the Ashburton District.  Most of our stockwater is carried by a large network of open races.

We also provide stockwater through two piped schemes in Methven Springfield and Montalto.  These schemes are also used by households so the water is treated to make it suitable as drinking water.

The Acton Irrigation Scheme also provides stockwater on behalf of Council to properties in the Acton area.

Learn more about the stockwater race network

Race maintenance

In order to make sure that stockwater flows to where it is needed, the races need to be maintained throughout the year.  This involves cleaning and in some cases spraying weeds along the race banks.

Learn more about race maintenance

Keeping our races clean

Council wants to ensure that the water in our races is kept as clean as possible so that stock (and in some cases people) have clean drinking water.  To do this we require that stock, such as cattle and deer, do not have free access to the stockwater races and have drinking bays instead.

Learn more about preventing water race pollution

Race alterations and closures

Alterations to any part of Council's stockwater network need approval before they can be constructed. You should apply through the stockwater race works consent application process.

Alterations include:

  • Closure or realignment of existing races
  • Construction of new races or culverts
  • Construction of new ponds or pipe services off the race system

Learn more about applying for race alterations and closures

Stockwater shortages

While Council endeavours to provide continual stockwater across the entire network there are times when weather can cause disruptions to water distribution.  Such times could be weather events where intakes are damaged and not able to draw water from the source, or during hot dry periods when there is not enough water at source to deliver across the network.

We strongly recommend all stockwater users ensure they have an alternative source of stockwater available for the times when the water does stop flowing, for whatever reason.  This will enable you to provide continual water to your animals and livestock during these times.

If you do not have access to an alternative supply such as a well or irrigation water, there are other options available – some are market ready while others that can be done easily at home.  One of the easiest is an IBC water tank that can be placed on a trailer or pallets with a trough attached.

Tanks for stockwater

These tanks, along with much larger static water tanks can be filled with stormwater captured off a house or shed roof and are then ready to provide water when needed.

Capturing rainwater

Most Ashburton district contractors have water tankers/carts, and they can supply you with a tanker load of water if needed, provided you have suitable storage available on your property.  Many people already make use of this service across the district for both potable (drinking) and stockwater.  These tanker loads are at the property owner's cost.

Council has set up a special text alert system so people can receive stockwater updates and advisories in the event of sudden changes – text STOCK to 4196 to receive these free alerts.

Water Race Bylaw

Learn more about the Water Race Bylaw here

Activity Management Plan

Activity Management Plans (AMPs) outline how Council manages stockwater.

Read the stockwater activity management plan