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

 


Collaborative water quality website goes live

19 March 2014

Collaborative water quality website goes live

Otago Regional Council (ORC) is part of a new website, Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA), launched this week displaying the results of water quality monitoring for rivers throughout the country.

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

A New Zealand first, LAWA displays water quality and trend information from all of the country’s freshwater quality monitoring sites (more than 1100 sites), giving the public access to the results in one place and in a common, easy-to-understand format.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the council was pleased to be part of this initiative, which aims to create a better connection between communities and their local waterways.

“Our freshwater resource is a vital asset for everyone. It’s important for people to be able to see and understand the state of a particular river or catchment and how it may be affected by what’s going on around it,” Mr Woodhead said.

ORC measures a range of parameters when assessing water quality, including E. coli, nitrogen, phosphorous, and water clarity. By using LAWA, comparisons can be made between sites, catchments, or region around the country.

The development of LAWA was supported by the Tindall Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation. 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.

“The fact that the quality of some of our waterways is on the decline, is horrifying,” Sir Stephen said.

“As a family foundation we were keen to fund the LAWA website so that information on water quality is easily accessible to the public. And, by collecting data, we can identify problems early and see whether or not water quality is improving in any New Zealand river.”

“This is about gathering information to help preserve our rivers and fresh waterways as well as safeguarding our ecosystems, our clean green image, and protecting our beaches,” Sir Stephen said.

In another NZ first, ORC has recently revised the Otago Water Plan to include water quality limits for Otago waterways. These aim to maintain or improve water quality in Otago rivers, lakes and aquifers, and their suitability for recreational use and food gathering.

Mr Woodhead said LAWA would provide useful benchmarks enabling everyone to see which rivers were doing well and those where water quality required their attention.

“With so many factors affecting water quality, there is no single solution for improving it. Achieving good water quality in rivers, lakes, and aquifers is the responsibility of all of us,’’ he said.

“Long-term partnerships between all stakeholders are the best way to drive sustainable changes and LAWA is a great information resource to support this work,” Mr Woodhead said.

LAWA can be accessed at www.lawa.org.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Discussion Document: Fresh Look At Family Violence Laws

A discussion document launched today takes a hard look at the way the law prevents and responds to family violence, and proposes a comprehensive rethink to strengthen New Zealand’s legislative response. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news