Glossary of terms

Horizons and Otago Regional Councils: Management of freshwater resources.

Allocation limit/volume – the maximum flow or quantity of water in a water body available for use.

Biodiversity – the variability of living organisms. The term includes genetic diversity (genetic differences among individuals within a single species), species diversity (the variety of species within a particular geographical area), and ecosystem diversity – for example, forests, deserts, grasslands, streams, lakes, wetlands, and oceans, and the biological communities that live in them.

Contaminant – includes any substance (including gases, liquids, solids, and micro-organisms), energy or heat, that when discharged into air, water, or onto land, changes or is likely to change the physical, chemical, or biological condition of water, or when discharged onto or into land or into air, changes or is likely to change the physical, chemical, or biological condition of the land or air onto or into which it is discharged.

Discharge – deliberate or accidental deposit or release of any substance to air, water, or land.

Ecosystem – a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.

Effluent – liquid waste (for example, the discharge from wastewater treatment plants and liquid leaching from solid waste).

Environmental Results Anticipated (ERAs) – what might be achieved from the combined effect of the objectives, policies, and methods.

Environmental values – these reflect the community’s aspirations for the water in its region, and the level of water quality desired. They can include ecological function and biodiversity, natural character, natural features and landscape, cultural and spiritual values, scenic and amenity values, contact recreation, and mauri and mahinga kai.

Freshwater – all water except geothermal water and coastal water. Freshwater may be surface water or groundwater.

Groundwater – freshwater which occupies or moves through openings, cavities or spaces in geological formations under the ground.

Hapu – sub-tribes.

Iwi – tribal group.

Kaitiakitanga – the exercise of guardianship by the tangata whenua of an area in accordance with tikanga Māori in relation to natural and physical resources, and including the ethic of stewardship.

Low flow – flows in a river during the dry season of the year.

Mahinga kai/ Mahika kai – customary places where food is collected or produced.

Mauri – life essence, life force.

Minimum flow – the flow below which the holder of any resource consent to take water must cease taking water from that river.

Non-point source discharge – a discharge of water or contaminant that enters a water body from a diffuse source – for example, fertiliser washed off paddocks into streams.

Permitted activity – an activity allowed by a regional plan without a resource consent if it complies in all respects with any conditions specified in the plan.

Point source discharge – a discharge of water or contaminant that enters a water body at a definable point – for example, a pipe or drain.

Resource consent – a permit to carry out an activity that would otherwise contravene the Resource Management Act. Requirements included as part of the resource consent are known as resource consent conditions.

Riparian margin – a strip of land, usually of varying width, adjacent to a waterway, which contributes to the maintenance and enhancement of the natural functioning, quality and character of the waterway.

Runanga – local representative group or community system of organisation.

Surface water – water in all its physical forms that is over the ground, flowing or not, but excludes coastal water and geothermal water.

Taonga – treasure, prized elements of Māori culture.

Tangata whenua – people of the land.

Tikanga – Māori customary values and practices.

Wāhi tapu – a place sacred to Māori in the traditional, spiritual, religious, ritual, or mythological sense.

Water body – freshwater or geothermal water in a river, lake, stream, pond, wetland, or groundwater that is not located within the coastal marine area.

Water take – the extraction of water from lakes, rivers, streams, or groundwater.

Wetlands – includes permanently or intermittently wet areas, shallow water, and land water margins that support a natural ecosystem of plants and animals that are adapted to wet conditions.

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