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

Pre-Caucus Audio:
David Cunliffe And
The Future Of The
Labour Party

David Cunliffe met with the press today after Saturday’s disappointing election result for The Labour Party.

“We are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result” Cunliffe said. Although he called the results “deeply disappointing” Cunliffe said “the voters are always right”.

He felt that Labour needed to make improvements and take action: “We don’t need months to get feedback from members of the public, we've had a lot over the past 48 hours”. More>>

Update: After a seven hour caucus meeting David Cunliffe has announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as new party whips and said the Labour council will hold an independent review into the election result. He did not comment on any leadership vote.

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news