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National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES)

We explain the National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES).

National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES)

The National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES) is a regulation made under the Resource Management Act (1991) that sets requirements for protecting sources of human drinking water from becoming contaminated and unsafe for drinking. It came into effect on 20 June 2008.

This NES complements Ministry of Health legislation for drinking water supply and delivery and the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards (2005, revised 2008). 

Contaminants such as microorganisms can pose a risk to human health when they enter drinking water supplies and that water is then consumed. Taking steps to prevent such contaminants from entering drinking water sources is part of a multiple barrier approach to reduce this risk to people.

What are Regional Councils required to do?

  • Regulation 7 and 8: decline discharge or water permits that are likely to result in community drinking water becoming unsafe for human consumption following existing treatment
  • Regulation 11 and 12: place conditions on relevant resource consents that require notification of drinking water suppliers if significant unintended events occur (e.g., spills) that may adversely affect sources of human drinking water.

Applying for a consent

If you are applying for a discharge consent or water permit, you must identify the nearest registered water supply, and provide an assessment of the potential for the activity to affect the water quality at the supply. 

Work is underway to provide accurate maps of all registered supplies in Hawke’s Bay.  In the interim, the Regional Council has produced a web map service of registered water supplies that are authorised by the Regional Council water take consents. 

NOTE: The map below does not display all registered drinking water supplies.  For a complete list, visit the most recently published Ministry of Health Drinking Water Register (see link below). 

HB Larger Registered Drinking Water Supplies

A list of the larger registered drinking water supplies in Hawke’s Bay, that supply more than 500 people, can be viewed here. These are the water supplies which Regulations 7 and 8 apply seek to protect.  A map of the water supply locations is available by clicking the relevant link in this table.

Further information

Further information on the Regulations can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.

The annual register of drinking water supplies is available here.

If you are a water supplier, and are seeking information about registration or water supply treatment, you should contact a Drinking Water Assessor at the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Information about a particular water supply may be available from the water supply operator.   Links to the websites of the territorial local authority water supply operators are provided below:

Please note that warnings and/or notices about water supply status (e.g. boil water notices) will not be displayed on this website.  Please contact the water supply operator for this information.

Consents Telarc

HBRC Consented Registered Supply


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