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

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.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

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:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news