Temporary drinking water supplies

What you need to do, if you intend to supply drinking water, to people attending a planned event.

Typically, these planned events are music festivals, farm field days, camps, civil defence or military exercises. Other types of organised gathering or camp can be relevant too.

Your responsibilities

As an event organiser who intends to provide drinking water to attendees (including workers or food stall holders) on a temporary basis for a planned event, you must plan to provide safe drinking water and keep it safe by:

  • arranging for drinking water to be supplied from a registered drinking water supply, like a registered water carrier
  • supplying bottled water that is regulated under the Food Act 2014, or
  • applying to Taumata Arowai to register your own temporary drinking water supply.

If you choose to apply to register your own temporary drinking water supply, you will need to:

  • Submit a temporary drinking water safety plan along with your registration application
  • Comply with all conditions imposed by Taumata Arowai if your registration application is approved.

What you need to know

If you are using a registered drinking water supply for your planned event, including a registered water carrier service, you do not need to apply to register a temporary drinking water supply. In these situations, the suppliers are responsible for ensuring the drinking water supplied complies with the Water Services Act 2021.

For all other temporary drinking water supplies, you, as the event organiser, must:

  • apply to register the temporary supply before the event takes place
  • pay the required application fee and any charges, and
  • ensure drinking water is supplied in accordance with your temporary drinking water supply plan and any registration conditions imposed by Taumata Arowai.

We have the discretion to approve or decline a registration application after completing a risk-based assessment of the proposed temporary drinking water supply.


You must submit your application to register your planned temporary water supply for a planned event with Taumata Arowai in advance of the event taking place. You can submit one application for multiple events within a 12 month period providing all the information in the application remains the same for each event, or any differences for particular events are identified and addressed.

How to register

You will need to:

  • Complete the online form with brief details of your contact details and the event date(s) and type of event
  • Follow instructions in an email you will receive from Taumata Arowai to establish a user account in Hinekōrako so you can complete the online registration application form
  • Complete the full application form including attaching the temporary drinking water safety plan and providing full details of the proposed temporary drinking water supply

To complete the application form you will need to:

  • Know the expected number of people attending the event
  • Know the expected number of consumers of the drinking water, including workers at the event or other users such as food trucks
  • Include the dates that allow for set up and close-down of the event if the drinking water supply will be available to workers or other consumers
  • Know the names and contact details of the people who will be operating the temporary drinking water supply.

For more information about registering a temporary drinking water supply for a planned event, see our guidance.

Application fee

Applications for registering a drinking water supply for a planned temporary event will be subject to an application fee. The fee is set through regulations.  

If the temporary water supply for your planned event is complex (e.g. you will be using multiple sources of water that each need to be assessed) an additional charge may be applied. You will be advised of the additional charge prior to the assessment beginning.

How are the applications assessed?

Taumata Arowai will review the registration application and the temporary drinking water safety plan for events to be held to assess the level of risk associated with the proposed temporary drinking water supply, the operator of the supply, the nature of the event and the experience of the event organiser in relation to drinking water supplies. This could involve a site visit.

If a registration application is approved, conditions may be imposed that the event organiser must comply with.  Conditions are intended to ensure that drinking water is safe and complies with drinking water standards.  They can relate to a range of things, including requirements for:

  • source water and drinking water testing and reporting requirements
  • minimum treatment requirements for drinking water e.g. for filtration, disinfection, residual disinfection
  • water quality monitoring with acceptable levels for specified determinands (e.g. freely available chlorine residual, pH, turbidity) and reporting requirements
  • obligation to immediately notify Taumata Arowai in the event of any incidents or issues which may result in drinking water being unsafe, non-compliant with the drinking water standards, or insufficient
  • requirements on the training, experience and skills of people working on the water supply for the planned event.

A post-event report, which must include water quality monitoring results, information on any conditions that have not been met, incidents or notifications, and any complaints about the water, will be a standard condition for all registrations of planned temporary drinking water supplies.

If the registration application is declined, we will advise you of the reasons why. You will need to arrange an alternative way of providing drinking water to people attending the event.

Drinking water safety planning

A temporary drinking water safety plan is a comprehensive risk assessment and management tool that covers all parts of the drinking water supply from catchment / source water to consumers. It describes how risks relating to drinking water are identified, mitigated or managed, so that safe drinking water is always provided to people attending your event.

You must submit a temporary drinking water safety plan to Taumata Arowai in the approved template as part of the registration of your planned event temporary drinking water supply.


You need to notify Taumata Arowai straight away in accordance with your registration conditions, for example if you cannot supply safe drinking water. This can happen if there has been an incident such as water contamination, an emergency, a significant change in your temporary drinking water supply or water testing results come back as non-compliant with drinking water standards.