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Taranaki waterways fit for purpose

Taranaki waterways fit for purpose

The Taranaki Regional Council’s third annual report card on waterway quality is being distributed with community newspapers in the region this week.

Based on its extensive monitoring, the Council says that in overview, Taranaki’s rivers and streams continue to do well.

Council chairman David MacLeod says the health of the region’s rivers and streams is highly valued and is vital to the well-being, livelihood and lifestyle of everyone in the region.

“There is plenty of interest and public discussion around the water quality in our rivers and streams. And so, as the manager of the freshwater resource, the Taranaki Regional Council closely monitors waterway quality to ensure that the discussion, as well as the Council’s own decision making, is well informed by fact and science,” he says.

“Understanding long-term trends in water quality is also an important part of our process of reviewing the Regional Fresh Water Plan for Taranaki.

“This is our third annual report card setting out the latest findings of the Council’s extensive freshwater monitoring programmes. I’m pleased to report that it is increasingly clear that freshwater quality is improving or remaining steady across Taranaki.”

Findings in summary:

• The Taranaki Regional Council’s scientific monitoring shows that in overview, the region’s rivers and streams are continuing to do well. Water quality measures are either stable or improving, and an ever-increasing number are improving.

• The trends reported this year, on the ecological health and physical and chemical state of our rivers and streams, are the best yet in 18 years of monitoring.

• At popular freshwater swimming spots monitored by the Council last summer, wildfowl and gulls were the major source of contamination at the three sites that often exceeded Ministry for the Environment bathing guidelines. At the other 14 popular bathing sites monitored by the Council, more than 99% of all samples were within the guidelines.

• Comparison with guideline limits provided by NIWA for various water uses in Taranaki shows water quality is suitable for most purposes almost all of the time.
• This is
no accident. The Taranaki community continues to invest heavily in measures that protect and enhance the region’s waterways. The benefits are now becoming more apparent.

• There is still room for improvement, though, and the review of the region’s freshwater management rulebook is firmly focused on finding the best ways to achieve this.

See the full report card here: www.trc.govt.nz/healthy-report-for-region-s-rivers/

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