Green light for Waihao River
July 2, 2008
Green light for Waihao River Wainono Lagoon management strategy
Water quality, flow regime and allocation are likely to be the first priorities tackled following the approval of the Waihao River - Wainono Lagoon management strategy.
The document has been produced by the Waihao-Wainono Water Users Society, a group of about 60 people which includes landholders, recreational users, irrigators, local runanga and the Central South Island Fish and Game Council. The South Canterbury society has been in existence for about 10 years, and covers the area from Hook in the north to Morven in the south, inland to its headwaters in the Hunter Hills, and east to the coast.
Over recent years the society members have met regularly and heard from a range of specialist speakers in fields such as river engineering, ecology, hydrology and water quality, while work on the management strategy has been the focus for the past year.
Environment Canterbury is facilitating the project and ECan resource care co-ordinator Julia Laming says it’s a huge step forward to get the sign off on the strategy.
“The basis of the strategy is to conserve the water in the catchment and to address any issues that may jeopardise future water quality of the waterways and the lagoon. Water quality, the flow of the river and the allocation of the water are some of the key issues, and also enhancement opportunities,” she says.
ECan has been involved in water quality monitoring for some time in the area and is starting vegetation surveys.
The management strategy also rates access as a high priority and aims to get signs at key places explaining the significance of the environment and offering some guidance on protection. Both the strategy and a summary will be available from mid-July.
In the future, the society would like to be involved in co-ordinating public open days geared at educating users about ways to minimise effects on the river environment, and increasing awareness of potential ecological damage.
The next meeting of the society will be its annual meeting. If you would like to participate in future and/or attend the meeting please contact: