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FAQ Freshwater Management Units

Freshwater Management Units

Q: What is a freshwater management unit (FMU)?

A: A freshwater management unit is a concept used nationally to plan and manage freshwater. The Ministry for the Environment describes a freshwater management unit as `the water body, multiple water bodies or any part of a water body determined by the regional council as the appropriate spatial scale for setting freshwater objectives and limits and for freshwater accounting and management purposes.’

Southland is made up of 5 FMUs—they are shown on the map at this link.

Q: What is my FMU?

A: Southland is made up of 5 FMUs—they are shown on the map at this link. If you are still not sure, please get in touch with staff at Environment Southland.

Q: Why refer to FMUs and not catchment areas?

A: A freshwater management unit is a concept used nationally to plan and manage freshwater. It includes catchment areas that feed freshwater bodies. We accept this term may be less familiar to some people. However, by using it we are being consistent with terms used in other regional councils and nationally.

Q: How will you manage issues that are specific to a single catchment/FMU e.g. water quantity issues on the Waiau?

A: We recognise that specific catchment areas or freshwater management units (FMU) are likely to have distinctive characteristics that create unique challenges any may require different solutions. By talking further with people in specific catchments or FMUs to better understand how they value water—and working closely with them to achieve practical actions that improve water quality—we aim to come up with methods that best meet specific catchment challenges.

Q: Will a separate plan be made for my FMU?

A: No. The intention is to retain one regional plan (the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan) that will then have different chapters, policies or rules for specific FMUs where required.