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Fresh water - fresh thinking

26 February, 2014

Fresh water - fresh thinking

The University of Waikato is taking six of its leading fresh water scientists and researchers to Wellington next month for a forum to discuss with stakeholders and policy makers the many and varied issues around water and the implications that different strategies will have on land, lakes and rivers, and the economy.

As a leading primary producer, New Zealand has a heavy reliance on water. Droughts, floods and lack of access to fresh water all can affect productivity, while some farming practices can have serious impacts on fresh water quality.

“It’s impossible to look at any single water issue in isolation,” says Waikato’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones. “And this forum provides an opportunity to discuss water issues from legal, iwi, economic, planning, agricultural and environmental perspectives in one place in just a couple of hours.”

One of the forum presenters will be Waikato University’s new environmental planning professor Iain White who says that given the rise in extreme events, escalating urbanisation and the value of water to the economy, planners need to start thinking of new ways for water storage and flood control, especially in urban areas. This should involve integrated approaches and a much longer time period than is the norm, he says.

Other presenters at the Wellington fresh water forum will be Professor David Hamilton – the chief science officer of a 10-year $10 million programme on lake biodiversity restoration, international conservation commentator law professor Alexander Gillespie, Linda Te Aho who helped draft the Waikato River co-management plan, economist Professor Les Oxley and professor of agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth.

The Fresh water – Fresh thinking forum takes place on Thursday March 6, 4.00 – 6.30pm at the InterContinental Hotel on Grey Street.

To register for the forum, contact: Duanna Fowler, Assistant to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, 07 838 4665, 021 154 0814, email duanna@waikato.ac.nz


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