Despite concerns about Hawke's Bay's water being extracted and sold for overseas markets, it appears the industry is not as booming as initially hoped.
The extraction of water in Hawke's Bay for bottling and export has been a contentious issue, which heated up after the 2016 Havelock North gastro outbreak and tensions over water restrictions.
There are 11 consents which together can draw about five billion litres of water from the Heretaunga aquifer annually for water bottling purposes. Only a few consents are actively used for this purpose.
Based on numbers through the Port of Napier, it appears the international export of water from Hawke's Bay has not reached the levels originally expected.
There were only 14 containers worth of water exported from the Port of Napier in February, Regional Transport Committee chair Alan Dick told a Hawke's Bay Regional Council meeting last week.
"Obviously this does not align with the common perception that millions and millions of litres of water are being extracted from our aquifers and sent overseas.
"[That's] a myth. It's not happening."
The February number of containers was consistent, as shown through regular monitoring of such exports.
Mr Dick said the number of containers was monitored as at one stage it appeared the water export industry could have a "significant impact" on the transport infrastructure.
"But the reality is there isn't any problem with traffic or infrastructure, except for logs of course."
Councillor Paul Bailey said he found the number of exported containers "fascinating".
"It's proof at the end of the day that there aren't millions of litres being exported...but it also tells me that when we were told it was going to be the economic boom for Hawke's Bay and all these jobs are going to be created, now that's a bit of a myth as well".
Mr Dick said he expected there was a "significant" local market, especially since both Napier and Hastings' water supplies were chlorinated.
There have been no new consents granted to take water for bottling purposes since December 2016, when the Hawke's Bay Regional Council agreed all such applications would be publicly notified. In this time two such consents have changed hands.
While concern was rife about the impact water bottling would have on the Heretaunga Aquifer, the council said only 0.12 per cent of the resource was consented for that use.
In August the council announced new scientific advice indicated the volume of water being taken from the Heretaunga aquifer was at its "maximum acceptable level", with all takes having an effect on surface water bodies.
This meant granting new consents for further water allocation was "no longer acceptable".