Water Conservation Orders (WCOs) are statutory tools used to protect waterbodies of outstanding value nationally – rivers, lakes, and wetlands – much like mountains and coasts are protected by National Parks. They preserve or protect outstanding features such as fisheries, wildlife, Maori, cultural, recreational, wild and scenic or scientific values. They are to exist in perpetuity, unless amended.

Irrigation has always been vital to agriculture, but access to water, and ways to maximise its effectiveness, have changed over the years. Landcare Research soil scientist Dr Carolyn Hedley charts an irrigation evolution.

Irrigation is getting more high-tech and water efficient as time goes on – which is just as well, as access to the essential fluid gets more and more restricted and expensive. OWEN POLAND looks at the latest in on-farm water management.

While holding down a full-time job at consultancy MWH, Annie Feng earned a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Auckland, and now she can add Young Water Professional of the Year to her titles.

Daina Shipping Company, owner of the MV Rena, has agreed to pay $27.6 million nearly a year on from the Rena's grounding on October 5, 2011, which triggered a major oil spill.