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

 


Lakes water quality improvements encouraging, says Winters

Lakes water quality improvements encouraging, says Winters

31 January 2013

A $200 million partnership programme to improve the water quality of Rotorua lakes is producing very encouraging results, says Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group chairman Kevin Winters.

Mr Winters and the strategy group oversee the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Protection and Restoration Programme which is a partnership of Rotorua District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. It includes a $72 million funding contribution from the Ministry for the Environment for water quality initiatives on four priority lakes – Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu and Okareka.

Mr Winters said targets had been set with the communities of each of Rotorua’s lakes aimed at achieving water quality levels that would be acceptable to those communities. The targets are based on a water quality measure called the Trophic Level Index.

“Because many factors, such as climate, the amount of rain and lake levels, all play a part in affecting water quality, we need to look at the long-term trend of water quality in each lake to see how well we are doing,” says Mr Winters.

“But there have been some quite remarkable results in the last year and these are really promising signs for the future of our lakes.

“Lake Rotorua’s annual water quality, for example, is the best recorded since regular monitoring began in the 1990s. This has been achieved though expensive and short-term in-lake engineering options and favourable climate conditions. While this is great, it is not a long-term sustainable improvement and we need to reduce the amount of nutrients entering the lake from the catchment.”

“Lake Rotoiti water quality also continues to improve and there have been great improvements in Lake Rotoehu’s water quality with no recent health warnings needed.”

Mr Winters said the work being undertaken on Rotorua’s lakes had become known worldwide and the Rotorua programme was leading the way internationally in water quality management.

He said the programme was being supported by innovation, science and technology such as the construction of floating wetlands, the development of a number of wastewater sewerage schemes and a recent state-of-the-art upgrade of Rotorua‘s wastewater treatment plant.

Other measures underway include trialling of an aeration treatment process using giant air pumps to reduce the impacts of nutrients that settle on Lake Rotoehu’s lake bed, and a Tikitere pilot plant to test the performance of nitrogen removal from the Waiohewa Stream before it enters Lake Rotorua. Currently 30 tonnes of nitrogen enters the lake every year as a result of geothermal activity.

Initiatives in coming months would include the preparation of more lake action plans, developing rules and incentives for nitrogen reduction in the Lake Rotorua catchment, a trial of locally mined Zeolite as an alternative for removing nitrogen from geothermal sources, and testing a de-nitrification treatment wall for Lake Rerewhakaaitu.

“While it’s too soon to become complacent as there are still significant water quality issues with several lakes we can take some comfort in the early signs coming through indicating we’re gradually getting on top of the problem and genuine progress is being made. But there is much to yet to do if we are to achieve the results we want for our lakes.

“I am well aware that this is the most important issue for many Rotorua residents and we’re all committed to seeing it through to the best possible results for our communities and for future generations,” said Mr Winters.

SUMMARY OF PROGRESS RESULTS
• Lake Rotorua: Has recorded best water quality in decades, with a long-term trend of improvement.
• Lake Okareka: Long-term trend for water quality is stable. Recent initiatives will take time to produce water quality improvements.
• Lake Rotoehu: Great improvements in water quality. No health warnings issued in last three summer seasons.
• Lake Rotoiti: Water quality continuing to improve.
• Lake Rotoma: High lake water levels resulted in slight decline in water quality last year.
• Lake Tikitapu: All actions in the Action Plan completed but it will take time before results appear.
• Lake Rotokakahi: Water quality declining. Action plan will be developed.
• Lake Okaro: Water quality has fluctuated over last 10 years but has improved as a result of recent interventions.
• Lake Okataina: High Lake water levels last year increased run-off from rain resulting in increased nutrient levels. An action plan has now been prepared.
• Lake Tarawera: Water quality is declining and an increase in nutrients recorded last year.
• Lake Rotomahana: Long-term water trend has been declining since 2005. Monitoring underway to assess whether action plan required.
• Lake Rerewhakaaitu: A local sustainable farming project involving 25 farms to reduce the amount of nutrients entering the lake.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news