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What state is our environment?

Greater Wellington is the promotional name of the Wellington Regional Council
News release

18 December 2003

What state is our environment?

Greater Wellington has released its State of our Environment report for 2002-03. There are nine report cards summarising environmental information for biodiversity, air quality, coastal and freshwater quality, groundwater, soil and hydrology, and what is being done in pollution control and natural hazards.

Water quality and stream health are key environmental issues for the region.

Studies show that as the amount of catchment covered by hard surfaces like roads and houses increases, there is a decrease in the quality of the water in the stream and the variety of creatures living there. A big reason for this is the contaminants that are carried to the streams in stormwater.

The worst polluted streams in the region were the Karori, Porirua, Ngauranga, Owhiro and Waiwhetu streams, which flow through urban areas in Wellington, Porirua and Hutt Cities.

“The coastal water quality at most of the beaches around the region is good. It is safe to swim – except after heavy rain when polluted water is washed down stormwater drains to the sea,” says Environment Committee chairman Ian Buchanan.

If people want to know whether water quality is suitable for swimming this summer, they can ring Greater Wellington, or look up their web site at www.gw.govt.nz. Water quality monitoring results for 76 coastal beaches and 22 river sites are posted on this site weekly.

The State of our Environment annual summary 2002-2003 is available by phoning 04 384 5708.


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