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OOP Zone Committee focuses on engagement and water modelling

Media advisory

1 August 2014

OOP Zone Committee focuses on community engagement and water modelling

The Orari-Opihi-Pareora (OOP) Zone Committee will meet in Timaru on Monday 4 August for its regular monthly meeting to address water management issues in the zone.

The meeting will follow a field trip to the Washdyke / Waitarakao lagoon and catchment to better understand the multiple values and issues in the area. These include flood management, cultural and biodiversity values, recreational use, coastal erosion, and storm water management.

Community engagement in the Waihi and Temuka catchments will be a key focus for the committee at the meeting. There are three current work streams planned in these communities - developing catchment groups, Environment Canterbury's strategy on Flood management in the Orari-Waihi-Temuka catchment, and the Timaru District Council’s work on storm water management. Community meetings are being proposed for October and November to provide information about the work and give the community an opportunity to provide feedback.

At Monday’s meeting the committee will also continue its catchment group planning in the zone. In all, nine catchment groups are being proposed and the committee will consider the expectations and work priorities of these groups.

The committee will then receive two reports – the first is an update on the National Policy Statement on Freshwater, and the second is a report from Environment Canterbury on the flow requirements for key kayaking areas in Canterbury Rivers. The recreational value of freshwater in Canterbury is one of the key targets of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

In addition to regular updates on work to implement the zone implementation programme, the committee will also consider applications for funding two local biodiversity initiatives - one to protect a forest remnant with wetland springs and limestone cliff vegetation, and the other provides rabbit proof fencing for the Pit Road lizard sanctuary. Zone Committees are responsible for allocating Immediate Steps funding and the OOP committee still has around $240,000 left to distribute. If you have a project that could benefit from Immediate Steps search Immediate Steps at www.ecan.govt.nz for further information and an application form.

The final item on the agenda is a discussion of the draft environmental optimisation scenario to be modelled as part of the on-going work to understand the complex combination of ground and surface water catchments in the zone and the opportunities that new water create. This is part of the project funded by the Irrigation Acceleration Fund and Environment Canterbury to develop computer modelling resources to help address demand and supply issues.

The OOP Zone Committee is a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and the Timaru and Mackenzie District Councils. The zone extends south from the Rangitata River through to the Pareora catchment. It includes all of the Timaru district and parts of the Mackenzie and Waimate districts.

Meeting Details

Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Committee meeting

1:00pm, Monday 4 August 2014

Timaru District Council, 2 King George Place, Timaru

For an agenda visit the OOP page at www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater

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