Otago’s Water Plan is being reviewed by ORC. We are taking a staged approach to the review based on 'mountains-to-sea' catchment areas called Freshwater Management Units (FMUs). In Otago we have set five FMUs: Clutha/Mata-Au, Taieri, North Otago, Dunedin Coastal and Catlins. Due to the large size of the Clutha/Mata-Au FMU, it has been divided in to five sub-areas, called rohe, for a more tailored water management approach in these areas. One of these is the Lower Clutha Rohe. 




The Lower Clutha Rohe covers over 4,000 square kilometres and is home to more than 7,000 people. It encompasses the Pomahaka River and Lake Tuakitoto. This is where the Clutha River reaches the end of its journey across Otago and finally meets the sea.

As we go through this new FMU process, there may be some rules set for the Lower Clutha Rohe that differ from other areas. This will be done in consultation with the local community to ensure that waterway management reflects local values and objectives.




Information and resources

We carry out monthly water quality testing as part of our State of the Environment (SOE) testing. Please note that SOE reports are based on five years of data. Read the SOE reports for:

Read more about Clutha River water quality at the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa website here, including the "Can I swim here?" section which is updated weekly in summer months .

Catchment groups

Name: Lloyd McCall or Simon O’Meara
Phone number: 027 248 9090 or 027 242 6248 or 027 POMAHAK (027 766 2425)
Organisation: Pomahaka Water Care Group
Website: http://pwcg.co.nz/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PomahakaCatchmentProject/

Website: https://www.cluthanz.com/otago-south-river-care/about-us/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OtagoSouthRiverCare/

Lloyd McCall - Project Manager
027 248 9090

Consultation - have your say

What do you want for the future of waterways in the Lower Clutha Rohe?

Under a new requirement introduced in the government’s Essential Freshwater package, ORC’s Regional Policy Statement must include freshwater objectives developed with iwi and the wider community for each freshwater management unit and rohe.

What do you value most about the lakes, rivers, groundwater, streams or wetlands in the Lower Clutha Rohe?

Is it being able to go fishing or swimming? Or do you rely on freshwater for your crops or farm animals? Maybe you want to see native animals and plants living in the water? What’s your vision for your waterways?

Come along and tell us at: 

  • Ettrick on 17 November, 5.30-7.00pm, at Ettrick Hall, Ettrick
  • Tapanui on 18 November, 12.30-2.00pm and 5.30-7.00pm, at West Otago Community Centre (Social Room), 3 Suffolk St, Tapanui
  • Balclutha on 19 November, 6.00-7.30pm, at Cross Recreation Centre, 18 Glasgow St, Balclutha

Or go online here.

ORC key contacts

Name: Rebecca Begg
Phone number: 0800 474 082
Email: rural@orc.govt.nz
Role: Team Leader Rural Liaison and Support
Organisation: Otago Regional Council

ORC Pollution Hotline

If you observe pollution to water, air or land anywhere in Otago, please call the Pollution Hotline - it's 24/7.

Phone: 0800 800 033