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

 


Tokomairiro Forum To Address Catchment Water Quality Issues

MEDIA RELEASE


December 5, 2012

Tokomairiro Forum To Address Catchment Water Quality Issues

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has organised a public forum to help farmers in the Tokomairiro address and resolve serious water quality issues in the catchment.

The council has invited all local farm owners and managers to the forum, which is being held at Milton’s White Horse Inn on Thursday December 13 from 7pm to 9pm.

Other interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

The decision to host the forum follows the release of a major ORC State of the Environment study of water quality and ecosystem health in the catchment.

The seven-month study has revealed that water quality has deteriorated markedly in recent years, with the entire catchment exceeding guidelines for bacteria, sediments, and nutrients.

The monitoring carried out by the council between 2001 and 2006 led to the Tokomairiro River at the west branch bridge being classified as having good water quality.

However, water quality declined sharply between 2006 and 2011, reducing its classification from good to fair, and making it one of the most polluted rivers in Otago.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the forum is a chance for locals to hear about the water quality results and discuss solutions. It’s also a chance for farmers to learn what they need to do to be compliant with the Otago Water Plan.

“Most locals understand that this sort of degradation of the waterways cannot continue. Unfortunately it is a reality that some of the local farm management practices are contributing to the problem,” Mr Woodhead said.

“We are keen to work with the local farming community to identify solutions to these problems. This will be a major focus of the forum,” he said.

Tile-mole and surface drains are extensively used to enable farming on the catchment’s heavy clay soils, and it was these drains which were often the conduit for most of the contaminants being discharged into the waterways.

Mr Woodhead said ORC accepted that these were not easy issues to solve but a start had to be made, and it was crucial that people got on board with improving water quality in the area.

“Changing some of the practices which have caused the water pollution doesn’t require rocket science. With commitment from local landowners, this catchment can be rehabilitated.”

The ORC permitted activity approach in the Otago Water Plan is designed to give farmers optimum flexibility to deal with water quality issues.

“I’m confident ways can be found to help farmers use that flexibility to their advantage, while at the same time improving water quality and ecosystem health in the Tokomairiro catchment,” Mr Woodhead said.

“We’d prefer not to go down an enforcement path. Rather, we would like to work with the local community to identify practices which will ensure farm activities comply with our rules. We know there are still a few farms with inadequate effluent storage, and that there are farmers who need to fence off stock access to waterways, or take steps to reduce sediment and nutrient contamination.”

“The forum is a good chance for them to talk to us about what measures are best for the local conditions,” Mr Woodhead said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news