Following a meeting between farmer representatives and environment and ag ministers, Environment Southland will be setting up a local advisory group for freshwater rules.
"This report presented to the Government marks the culmination of three years' hard work by LAWF and we thank the members for tackling the tough issues of New Zealand's fresh water management," say Carter and Adams.
"LAWF's work provides a solid foundation from which to progress the Government's strategic direction for water management, with the support of a broad range of stakeholders."
The forum's key recommendations identify how water can be better allocated for high-value use, focus on what councils and communities need to actively manage water quality and call for clearer accountabilities for resource managers and users.
The ministers say they applaud the wide buy-in on fresh water management from such diverse interests, despite a split on some of the recommendations.
"New Zealanders are concerned about a decline in water quality seen in many areas. This creates risks to our biodiversity, our economy, iwi interests and recreation," says Adams.
"LAWF identifies the need for better collaboration, and consideration of the full range of values we hold and what it means to deliver on those values when making decisions around fresh water."
Carter and Adams say they will carefully consider the report's recommendations.
"This work will feed into further progress in the fresh water reform programme, from which we've already seen the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, the Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-Up Fund and the Irrigation Acceleration Fund," the ministers say.
See www.landandwater.org.nz for Land and Water Forum report