The district's lakes, rivers and streams are of great cultural, historic and heritage value, with the council and the Government going to great lengths to protect them.
The council has been working with various groups, including the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Te Arawa Lakes Trust and the Lake Water Quality Society, on initiatives to mitigate the effects of nutrient runoff from pastoral farming and sewage leachate from residential areas.
Their focus is on the Lake Rotorua catchment.
The council's planning services manager Liam Dagg said the draft plan provided for Transferable Development Rights (TDRs), which were hoped would encourage land owners to make a change to the use or management of their land to reduce pollutants entering the ground and surface water.
"The plan also promotes riparian zones that separate agricultural fields from water sources.
"Careful location of buildings, waste disposal equipment and structures that house animals are permitted activities that do not require resource consent," he said.
Lake Water Quality Society member Don Atkinson said the society was enthusiastic about the plan and pleased the council had embraced the idea to change land use around the lakes to encourage long-term protection.
To view the proposed District Plan visit www.rdc.govt.nz, or view a hard copy at the council's customer centre, or the library. Submissions can be made online at the council's website, emailed to email@example.com, or posted to the Planning Services Manager, RDC, Private Bag 3029, Rotorua. Submissions close on March 1.