New water zone committees in Canterbury are making progress on their water management plans, with one already accepted by the regional council, and the rest underway.
The zone committees are part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, which was endorsed in February last year by all 10 territorial authorities in the region.
They decide the priorities for water use in their geographical areas, balancing farming, recreation and environmental needs.
The regional council's deputy chair of commissioners, David Caygill, says the first completed water plan comes a year after that committee was set up, and the rest will follow suit in the next couple of years.
Mr Caygill says while it took some time to explain to the people of Canterbury how the water strategy would work, the benefits can now be seen.
He says Canterbury is the region with the greatest growth in dairying in the past few years, and also has the largest area of land which is not yet irrigated.