Dam Safety Regulations

Earlier this year, there was consultation by central government around dam safety regulations.


The proposed regulations would apply to;


  • any dam or pond that is less than 4m above ground level and holds 30,000m3 or more, or
  • and dam or pond that is 4m above ground or more and holds 20,000m3 or more


According to the proposal, pond or dam owners whose storage meets either of the above criteria, would have to engage the services of a suitably recognised engineer to carry out a Potential Impact Assessment, which would then be submitted to regional councils to determine whether it is a risk (in terms of a breach i.e. earthquake) to life, environment or property.


Depending on the risk assessment, farmers may potentially have to go through a dam safety assurance programme as well as an annual audit to ensure that the dam or pond is safe.


In addition to affecting farmers with irrigation dams or ponds, these proposals could also affect farmers who have stock water storage ponds, flood prevention or capture dams, effluent ponds, and canals or races with built-up sides.


The Proposed Regulatory Framework for Dam Safety can be found here.



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