Freshwater allocation in New Zealand and Florida: Learning to improve our first-in, first-served approach.

Author: Byron, Sherilyn Kaye

Publisher: University of Otago

Type: Thesis

Link to this item using this URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/7467

University of Otago

Abstract

Freshwater is the world's most valuable resource. How we manage access to and use of that resource is important. New Zealand's freshwater management system has evolved from common law beginnings into a multi layer regulatory approach. New Zealand is currently experiencing emerging freshwater quality and quantity concerns, thus it is timely to assess our freshwater allocation approach. This research considers and evaluates a comparable freshwater management technique; in looking at the development of freshwater allocation systems in two places with similar histories, equivalent water allocation development and implementation, comparable water availability and emerging challenges; how do the experiences compare? Southland is the focus for New Zealand's freshwater management experience and Florida is selected as an analogous alternative jurisdiction. Current legal frameworks, allocation mechanisms and experiences from each jurisdiction are analysed, and resource pressures and management outcomes are explored, before conclusions were drawn about differences and similarities in the freshwater management experience of each jurisdiction. The study reveals that robust policy at the national level does not necessarily automatically equal better resource outcomes. What it does achieve is better integrated resource management, viewed positively by those involved or affected by the management approach. Specific, informative national level directives provide clarity for the delegated decision maker. In the New Zealand context, this would enhance achieving the sustainable management objectives mandated by the Act.

Subjects: Planning, freshwater management, resource management, freshwater allocation, water law, first-in first-served

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