Environment Canterbury has announced its nutrient management and Waitaki plan change is a step closer.

Plan change 5 to the land and water regional plan, deals with the effects of land uses, particularly farming activities, on water quality at a region-wide level, and aims to ensure the effective management of water quality in the Waitaki sub-region.

Councillor Prof Peter Skelton this month welcomed the High Court decision on appeals made against the plan.

"We are now nearing the end of a three-year process that will see this significant instrument become fully effective in the near future," Skelton said.

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"We will be making sure that all those affected, especially farmers, are clear on what the rules will mean for them and their farming practices."

The specific rules relating to the Waitaki catchment, developed through the Upper and Lower Waitaki zone committees, would help meet the water-quality requirements in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and the goals of the community.

There were new water quality standards and a nutrient regime to achieve it. The plan change aimed to manage the effects of land use and discharges from activities such as aquaculture on water quality in the Waitaki.

Aquaculture and farming activities were both required to meet good practice standards, implement environment plans, and avoid exceeding limits.