The first groundwater consents issued by the Waikato Regional Council under a new group consent system are expected to be out with farmers soon.
The new process means the cost to farmers has been significantly reduced from up to $3000, down to about $800.
Group consents cover dairy farmers taking more than 15 cubic metres of water a day.
Rob Dragten from the regional council says it allows the council to work on what are very similar consent applications all at once.
He says the region has been divided into catchments and proposed co-ordinated dates that farmers can all submit their applications.
Mr Dragten says all the applications will be processed as a group rather than individually which allows the council to go through the requirements of the Resource Management Act for a large number of consents that are all very similar.
He says that significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to process each consent, which in turn reduces the cost.
Mr Dragten says the first consents are for farmers in the Waihou catchment and they will go out in the next few weeks.