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

 


Freshwater quality on the up and up

Freshwater quality on the up and up

20 March 2014

Taranaki’s rivers and streams continue to stabilise and improve, with latest environmental monitoring results the best ever in two decades of testing by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Two new Council reports show widespread and encouraging gains in the ecological health of waterways, while nutrient levels in particular are stabilising and being reduced in some cases and fall well within proposed national guidelines.

The Council assesses water quality in two ways – primarily by examining what sort of tiny creatures are living in streams (“ecological health”), and also by analysing water samples to determine the levels of nutrients, bacteria and a host of other parameters (“physicochemical state”).

For both sets of measures, the latest state of the environment monitoring reports, for the 2012/2013 year, have recently been published, covering the results of recent monitoring and analysing medium- and long-term trends.

“In terms of ecological health, we’re seeing many waterways in the best state ever recorded, and a similar picture emerges when we look at physicochemical parameters,” says the Council’s Director-Environment Quality.

“The latest results build on good results seen in recent years and represent another significant step forward for the whole region. What’s particularly encouraging is that we are seeing some good gains in mid to lower catchment areas, where waterways flow through intensively farmed land.”

But Mr Bedford says the reports also indicate there are matters which still need attention.

Highlights of the latest reports include:

Ecological health
• During 2012-13, 20 of the 57 monitored sites reached their highest individual scores for health ever seen in nearly two decades of monitoring, as measured using an internationally recognised ranking system.
• No site reached a record low in 2012-2013.
• Trends at 44 sites (77% of the total) are showing marked signs of improving ecological health. Only eight sites now show signs of deterioration, down from 10 in the previous year and 12 two years ago.
• Looking at long-term trends, 26 sites are showing ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ improvement – that’s four times as many showing strong improvement even six years ago.
• Not a single site shows ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ deterioration.

Physicochemical state
• Sites are sampled monthly and analysed for up to 22 parameters including organic contamination, bacteriological quality, appearance, nutrient levels, conductivity, pH and temperature.
• Measurements of organic contamination, bacteria and aesthetic quality show stability or improvement.
• For the first time in annual monitoring programmes, no site showed an increase in nitrate, ammonia and total nitrogen during 2012-13. Of the 11 sites monitored, six are stable and five are improving in their nitrogen measures. The long-term trend over the past 18 years shows nitrogen levels reducing at 45% of sites and stable at the remainder.
• Phosphate levels are being stabilised and reduced across the region, reversing a previous trend of deterioration. Seven of the 11 monitored sites are stable, three are improving significantly and one (notably, near the Egmont National Park boundary) is deteriorating in one of its phosphate measures.

The full reports can be found on the Taranaki Regional Council website, www.trc.govt.nz. They will also be comprehensively summarised in a Waterways Update to be distributed with community newspapers in the region later in the year.

Links to the full reports
Ecological health (6 MB): http://bit.ly/1nkZ5bC
Physicochemical state (1.7 MB): http://bit.ly/1lru69d

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis Party: Treasury Figures On Cost Of Criminalisation

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Investigation Into Mental Health Facilities Shows Disarray

The Health Minister must urgently launch an inquiry into mental health services, after serious issues with the standard of care at mental health and disability facilities around the country were revealed today, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

Apparently He Means 'Years 0-8': Seymour Announces 4th Partnership Schools Application Round

“The continuing growth of this policy reflects the achievement of the eight existing Partnership Schools, and the strong levels of interest educators and community leaders are showing in the Partnership Schools model and what it offers students and their families,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

Trust Directors: Urban Māori Win Case Against Te Ohu Kai Moana

The National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA) and Te Waipareira Trust have succeeded in their claim over a $20 million trust set up for the benefit of urban Māori, meaning all directors of the trust must represent Māori who are not affiliated with an iwi. More>>

New Model: Carbon Tax Could Lower Emissions And Boost Economy

A carbon tax targeting emissions-intensive industries, along with a revamped Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), could boost economic growth, with the extra tax generated used to cut GST from 15 percent to 12.5 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Budget Docs Release: ACC Sought $158mn In Budget 2016, Got $26.4mn

The Accident Compensation Commission requested an extra $158 million in funding for 2016/17 from the government ahead of Budget 2016, but Treasury instead recommended an interim payment of just $26.4 million be funded to tackle demographic changes, papers published by the government show. More>>

ALSO:

Submissions Sought: Māori Party Joins Opposition Housing Inquiry

People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news