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Water Issues - Environment Canterbury

MEDIA RELEASE
22 November 2012

Come and talk to the Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee about local water issues
Members of the Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee will host an information stand with Environment Canterbury staff at this weekend’s Courtenay A&P Show in Kirwee.

Community members are welcome to come and talk about water management challenges, and how they can be addressed via the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), and proposed Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

Environment Canterbury Community Facilitator Julia Crossman said a key focus in the zone has recently been on developing water quality and quantity limits.

“Having finalised its Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) for water management in late 2011, the Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee has been focussed on gathering information on minimum flows, water allocation and nutrient load limits in the zone.

“These limits will become part of a Selwyn-Waihora sub-regional chapter in Environment Canterbury’s proposed LWRP, due to become operative in 2014.

“The committee has specifically been looking at nutrient load limits and the increased emphasis being placed on on-farm management of nitrogen and phosphorus levels through statutory and non-regulatory activities.

“The committee has also been looking at how its recommendations will contribute to the priority outcomes in its ZIP, the impacts of very dry years on flows and irrigation reliability, and how proposed allocation limits could improve ecological flows,” she said.

The Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee’s ZIP represents a broad consensus on how to improve water management in the Selwyn-Waihora zone. It was developed following more than 15 public meetings, a number of field-trips, as well as meetings with key stakeholders and community members.

The 82 recommendations made in the ZIP ask the Selwyn District and Christchurch City councils, as well as Environment Canterbury, to help with the work. The councils have accepted their relevant recommendations which are being actioned through work programmes and long-term plans.

Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee Chair Pat McEvedy said implementing the ZIP requires lots of work and co-operation between councils, community members and other agencies.

“How we manage water has an influence on our quality of life and prosperity both now and for future generations. We’re continuing to think about and develop solutions for water issues in the zone and we are making good progress in implementing the ZIP’s recommendations.

“Environment Canterbury is providing support in talking with industry and farmers about management techniques to optimise nutrient use on-farm and working on how farmer audited self-management could work.

“The underlying philosophy of the CWMS is that local communities should be making decisions on local water management s community input is vital to ensuring our water resource is managed in a sustainable way.

‘The A&P Show provides us with a great opportunity to listen to what local people have to say about local water management issues,” he said.

The Courtenay A&P Show will be held on Saturday 24 November at the Kirwee Showgrounds on High Street.

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