A new strategy for managing Canterbury's fresh water will be jointly funded by ratepayers and the private sector.
The strategy is being promoted as the means by which irrigators, farmers and environmentalists can work together, rather than fight through the courts.
Local Government leaders believe the plan ensures that compromises are reached between groups which have been bitterly divided.
Canterbury Water Management Strategy chairperson Bede O'Malley says it will be ratepayer-funded but that the community will benefit.
Mr O'Malley says there will be a general rate across the region for at least two years in the start-up phase to help fund restoration work.
How the private sector will fund the strategy is still being worked through, he says.