Irrigation New Zealand feature an article on DataCol

Irrigation New Zealand approached us in November and talked to Bruce about the National Water Regulation coming into effect. Here’s the article below:


The November 10th National Environmental Standard deadline for 20 litres per second or more of water usage have passed, with a considerable number of consent holders who are yet to undertake their meter installation. There is now risk of facing fines and being charged for visits by their local Regional Council.

However there are still questions as to why this is happening and how it gets done.

We talk to Bruce Franks, CEO of DataCol who has been travelling throughout the country helping everyone from apple orchards to dairy farms comply with the regulations. We ask him some of the top questions and concerns that we’ve been hearing to see if he can provide some answers to help you understand more about the regulations.

Even if I’m not using any water (but have consent), why do I have to report this daily?

It seems silly, but how does the Regional Council know that you’re not using water if you don’t report it?  It is open to abuse if the requirement was that meters only had to be read when the user said water was being used. This keeps it fair for everyone.

Why do they suddenly need to know how much water we are using now?  For some consent holders, they have been on the same land doing the same thing for generations.

There is a national water strategy that these regulations are part of. This requires all substantive water takes to be metered so a regional and national picture of the current use of water can be developed. This will allow for better planning and efficiency of water use to help protect one of our most valuable resources. Also, this has been a well-publicised process for a couple of years now.

What about if I have more than one water meter with different consent/reporting requirements?

So long as we can cable to both meters (they need to be located within about 30 metres of each other and have a suitable route available) then you can use the same logger. If not, you will then have to install a separate solution or radio link.

How is having a telemetered water meter going to add any value to my business?

Telemetering the logger means all the water usage data automatically comes back to one central place, making recording and reporting an easy task. Once you can see how much you are using and when, you are able to manage usage within your consent conditions. You can then add on features like rain, soil moisture and temperature monitoring. Not only will you comply, but you get an intelligent irrigation management tool to help improve efficiency all easily viewed online. Additionally, items like effluent and frost protection monitoring can be incorporated and viewed online.

If you didn’t have that information then you might be watering unnecessarily – costing you money in time, water, power and wear and tear on the actual units. A complete solution will help you gauge when and how much to irrigate. Some of our customers are already seeing potential savings of between 5-10% on electricity and staff costs.

If the meter readings are telemetered, does this mean the Regional Council can get access to them?

There are differing regional reporting requirements across the country. Some Regional Councils have annual while others require daily and monthly reporting. Water consumption records are stored securely in our database and are only provided to the Council as part of your required reporting.


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