The purpose of water supply management areas is to provide for the ongoing operation, maintenance, upgrading and development of the municipal water supply infrastructure. The areas comprise the catchments that are mainly in public ownership surrounding municipal water supply infrastructure. This infrastructure includes five dams in the Waitakere Ranges, two reservoirs in the Hunua Ranges, the Hays Creek dam at Papakura and land owned by Watercare Services in the Riverhead Forest. The management area also includes all related supporting and connected water supply infrastructure, such as the pipe network and pumping stations, located within these catchments. They contain water supply networks that are classified by this Unitary Plan as significant infrastructure. Part of the water supply management area for the Hunua water supply infrastructure is now outside the Auckland region. Water supply management areas, particularly those in the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges, contain a mix of vegetation cover. Large areas of significant indigenous vegetation meet the criteria for identification as natural stream management areas. The Waitakere water supply management area forms part of the wider Waitakere Ranges heritage area. One of the heritage features recognised by the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008 is the operation, maintenance and development of the public water catchment and supply system that services the needs of the people of Auckland.
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