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Communities for Clean Water

Communities for Clean Water

NZ Landcare Trust will shortly embark on a campaign to highlight the role communities can play in helping to improve water quality in New Zealand. The 'Communities for Clean Water' campaign will build up to a national event unfolding over the weekend of 18 and 19 October.

With a variety of fun and educational activities planned, the Trust will invite the general public to join in and celebrate the success of Landcare and its positive impact on water quality in this country. Look out for the formal launch of the campaign along with a dedicated website in early September.

Clean water is something we in New Zealand have grown up with. Most of us have fond memories of carefree lakeside holidays, family picnics by a local creek, casting a fly to a wary trout, kayaking an inaccessible stretch of river, or gathering kai for the whanau. While generally speaking most waterways in New Zealand are relatively safe, the relationship between us and our lakes, rivers and creeks is now a more cautious one. Increasingly we are aware of high profile stories in the media warning us about ecolicontaminating rivers or algal blooms choking lakes.

New Zealand is searching to find a balance between a productive rural economy and a healthy clean freshwater environment. Farmers are becoming increasingly aware of the potentially damaging impacts of intensive farming and most are responding positively. Major industry initiatives such as Fonterra's conditions of supply and the sustainable dairying water accord are helping push the sustainability message, but more can be done.

NZ Landcare Trust has worked on a number of projects helping farmers and landowners to make significant improvements to farm management systems. For example our work at the Top of the South with dairy farmers in the Aorere catchment made national headlines, as this small farming community took a proactive approach to cleaning up their river.

Communities both large and small, can make a difference to their local environment. The Trust has many examples of success stories, from dedicated Landcare groups protecting a local gully to large scale catchment initiatives covering multiple land uses. We will tell many of these stories as the 'Communities for Clean Water' campaign unfolds.

For further information contact NZ Landcare Trust Communications Manager James Barnett -james.barnett@landcare.org.nz

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