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Southland water quality information on display

Southland water quality information on display

Environment Southland is part of a new website launched this week which displays the results of water quality monitoring for rivers throughout the country.

The website, Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) displays state and trend information for 76 freshwater quality monitoring sites in Southland and over 1100 sites from around New Zealand, giving the public access to all of the country’s water quality monitoring in one place and in a common, easy to understand format.

Environment Southland Chairman Ali Timms says, “The LAWA website is an innovative initiative, and as it grows and develops it will become the 'go to' site for all of the important monitoring data that Regional Councils hold.”

LAWA also allows people to share information about what’s happening in waterways. People can share news, report pollution or promote river-related events such as clean-up days or riparian plantings.

Environment Southland measures a range of parameters when assessing water quality, including E. coli, nitrogen, phosphorous, water clarity and pH. By using LAWA, you can see how a particular site, catchment or region compares to others around the country. You can also see if the site is improving, stable or degrading.

The website is a New Zealand first and is a collaboration between New Zealand’s 16 regional and unitary councils, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE), Cawthron Institute and Massey University.

The development of LAWA has been financially supported by the Tindall Foundation which wants to see New Zealanders better connected with what’s going on in their rivers. Co-founder, Sir Stephen Tindall was keen to see the vision of LAWA realised, after experiencing difficulty in accessing clear information about the state of New Zealand rivers.


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