National Environmental Standards for Sources of Human Drinking Water

The National Environmental Standards for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES for Drinking Water) came into effect on 20 June 2008. It is intended to reduce the risk of contaminating drinking water sources such as rivers and groundwater. It does this by requiring regional councils to consider the effects of activities on drinking water sources in their decision making.

The NES for Drinking Water requires regional councils to ensure that effects on drinking water sources are considered in decisions on resource consents and regional plans. Specifically, councils are required to:

  • decline discharge or water permits that are likely to result in community drinking water becoming unsafe for human consumption following existing treatment
  • be satisfied that permitted activities in regional plans will not result in community drinking water supplies being unsafe for human consumption following existing treatment
  • place conditions on relevant resource consents requiring notification of drinking water suppliers if significant unintended events occur (eg. spills) that may adversely affect sources of human drinking water. 2034

Councils may impose requirements which are more stringent that those set out in the NES for Drinking Water.

The Users’ Guide provides guidance on how the NES for Drinking Water is to be implemented.

Last updated at 1:51PM on February 25, 2015