Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Study highlights pressure on Kakanui catchment water quality

26 November, 2012

Study highlights pressures on Kakanui catchment water quality

A ten month Otago Regional Council (ORC) study of water quality in the Kakanui catchment has revealed that water quality parameters have deteriorated in recent years, with many waterways exceeding nationally recognised guidelines for nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and E.Coli (bacteria).

ORC will continue to work closely with farmers throughout North Otago’s Kakanui catchment to ensure they implement practices to halt the increase in nutrients accumulating in the catchment aquifer and waterways, ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said.

Cr Woodhead said the study’s findings were not surprising, given the large increases in stock numbers, and the types of soils in the area. Some parts of the catchment had light soils with poor filtration qualities that would allow surplus nutrients through, especially nitrogen, while some of the downlands had denser soils which can drive nitrogen and phosphorous runoff into streams and rivers.

“This investigation provides new information for all of us. Everyone in the community needs to understand that this sort of deterioration of the environment is not sustainable,” Cr Woodhead said.

The report, which is to be tabled at ORC’s natural resources committee meeting on 29 November, indicates that if these trends were left unchecked, they would lead to nitrate accumulation in the Kakanui aquifer.

In addition, the high nutrient (NNN) concentrations provided by the lower Kakanui River and Waiareka Creek (dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP)) could stimulate the proliferation of algae in the Kakanui estuary.

The report noted that land use and farming practices were likely contributors to the problem. Dairy farming had increased in recent years, and some farms did not have sufficient effluent storage.

Cr Woodhead said ORC planned to meet with local farming leaders to discuss its findings, and develop a strategy to improve the environmental outcomes for the area’s waterways.

Chairman of North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC) Leigh Hamilton said the company will work with ORC to carefully analyse the report and understand how it relates to its activities.

“Our Audited Self-Management system is well embedded, and we have a framework in place to drive continuous improvement in farm practices amongst our shareholders,” he said.

“We have a long history of collaboration with ORC, and we are keen to work with them to face any issues head on, and contribute to the discussion around potential solutions,” Mr Hamilton said.

Cr Woodhead and Mr Hamilton said a lot of work was needed to satisfy community expectations around water quality, which would take time.

However, they said that well-thought out improvements to farm practices could bring about observable improvements in waterway health.

“We know there are improvements to be made on some farms to increase effluent storage, and top class effluent management is crucial throughout the catchment”, Cr Woodhead said.

“We know there are farmers who need to fence off stock access to waterways and fine tune their irrigation practices and nutrient budgets. We also know that the majority of farmers do not want to be shamed by prosecution and face hefty fines.”

“I will be recommending to the natural resources committee that we plan a community meeting for the New Year. We’ll work on strategic and practical approaches with NOIC and other farmers in the area, and present these along with the report to the wider community,” Cr Woodhead said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news