The CPWL Environmental Team is responsible for implementing, managing, and monitoring CPWL’s resource consents to ensure CPWL maintains the legislative and operational requirements to deliver and operate CPWL.


CPWL has been designed to replace the use of environmentally sensitive groundwater in the area with a more sustainable surface water scheme, supported by water storage. For CPWL sustainability is about ensuring that the Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme (CPWES) is viable and contributes lasting benefits to society through consideration of social, environmental, ethical, and economic aspects in all that it does.

Water Quality

Key to the establishment of CPWL was the desire to protect Canterbury’s water quality and quantity, including switching land users from groundwater abstraction to low nutrient alpine sourced water. CPWL’s development was closely aligned with the vision of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) and CPWL is a primary contributor towards the success of the CWMS Outcomes. CPWL has the potential to deliver widespread environmental benefits by leading shareholders towards more sustainable and efficient farm practices with its proposed collective approach to managing nutrients and on-farm management.

Environmental Benefits

CPWL strives to be an environmental leader that sets the benchmark for water use as part of sustainable land use practice. CPWL’s key Environmental Benefits to the Region are:

  • Recharged Aquifers (groundwater).
  • Increased flows in Selwyn River and Lowland Streams.
  • Management of Nutrients via Farm Environment Plans (FEP), Farm Environment Plan Audits and Water Use Agreement.
  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Enhancement – Environmental Management Fund, Te Waihora Environmental Management Fund and contributing to the cost of opening Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.
  • Groundwater and Surface Water Monitoring.

Protecting the Environment

Water Sources

Farming Requirements in Selwyn Waihora