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

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news