The Government is set to announce major decisions today around the management of fresh water, and is likely to boost funding for the clean-up of rivers and lakes by local councils.

The decisions will be the first steps of its response to the Land and Water Forum report on fresh water management issued last year and its consultation this year.

But any funding to improve water quality will have to be found from savings in other areas of environment spending, as is the case with almost all new spending in the next financial year.

Decisions around governance structures for future management have not yet been made.

And the issue of ownership of water as it relates to iwi claims is not expected to be addressed today.

But the Government's package today could also include a final National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management.

A draft one was published in the latter days of the Labour Government in 2008 but the Land and Water Forum urged the Government to settle on its own NPS. A National Policy Statement would not set rules or standards which would still be set by councils but they would have to be guided by the national statements when setting their rules.

The Land and Water Forum threw together opposing interest groups and required them to work together to identify options.