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

Pacific Spying: Mass Surveillance Of NZers Confirmed By Former GCSB Director - Contradicting PM John Key

Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson Reports: Yesterday morning former GCSB Director Sir Bruce Ferguson confirmed mass surveillance of New Zealnders in the Pacific is taking place as revealed in the latest Snowden leaks investigated by Nicky Hager. In 2013 John Key told press gallery reporters that in the event mass surveillance was found have been conducted by the GCSB, he and the director of the GCSB - his childhood friend Ian Fletcher - would resign. As the controversy deepens a year and half later Fletcher has already resigned. But will Key? More>>

Gordon Campbell: Legal Fudging Of The GCSB Revelations

As many have noted, the Hager/Snowden revelations of the spying by our security agencies on our Pacific neighbours and allies is a virtual re-run of the pre-election debate. It is a situation where the government (a) stonewalls, (b) baldly asserts that mass surveillance is not occurring despite the Snowden evidence that it is, and (c) claims that the GCSB actions were lawful. Yet as Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman says, this can be true only if the legislation passed last year by the Key government has made the mass surveillance of New Zealanders – and the related handing over of their private data to the NSA – lawful. More>>

Latest:

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Women's Day, March 8: It’s Time For Men To Step Up For Gender Equality

UN Women is launching the HeForShe campaign in New Zealand at the International Women's Day Parliamentary Breakfast, and is calling on New Zealand men — including politicians and community and sports leaders — to show their commitment to gender equality by signing up to this global campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news