Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Few people believe managing water rights helps environment

Few people believe managing water rights helps the environment

January 6, 2014

Only 15 percent of rural people surveyed believed managing water rights was beneficial to the environment, according to University of Canterbury (UC) research.

When asked what the appeal was in having riparian management along a stream, 60 percent of participants responded for aesthetic purposes, UC postgraduate student Emma Porter says.

Porter, who is supervised by freshwater ecology professor Jon Harding, has a received a Meadow Mushroom’s grant to further her studies in this area.

``The results indicate that although many people see the value of riparian management, there is a surprisingly high minority who aren't aware of the riparian management along streams.

`I have done some research looking at the public perception aspect of riparian management and will do more work in 2014. I have been able to talk directly to the public, primarily farmers, about the value of riparian management to them.

``Twenty percent of people surveyed felt that decreasing the amount of nutrients from entering the waterway is the primary goal of riparian management.

``Many people also thought that decreasing erosion and increasing biodiversity was achieved through riparian management. However, 15 percent of people didn't know or didn't think that there was any benefit on waterways by implementing a riparian system.

``I have surveyed urban areas and the way councils are doing riparian management should be altered to focus on the amount of ground-cover rather than the plants that they are using.

``Areas with 100 percent ground-cover have a greater proportion of the sediment filtered in comparison to sparse native plantings that only filter about 30 to 40 percent, which leaves areas of 60 percent without filters leaving sediment to run directly into streams.’’

Porter says her water rights findings to date indicate that there is a reason for concern regarding the lack of public knowledge regarding the primary purpose of riparian zones.

New Zealand has the advantage of a high rainfall and sufficient volumes of water in surface and groundwater systems to supply the nation’s drinking water needs.

Globally, drinking water is in short supply. The United Nations predicts dire shortages in clean, disease-free drinking water for more than 60 percent of the world's people within the next 15 years and anticipates that conflict over water will be the most likely cause of the next world war.

While New Zealand may have abundant water resources, the world is facing a tremendous water shortage which is worsening with time.

With the world’s population growing by about 80 million people a year, the demand for freshwater increases at a staggering rate of 64 million cubic metres a year.

Up to 75 percent of New Zealand freshwater is used in agriculture and farming. As the production of food is being compromised by the scarcity of water in many regions of the world, New Zealand has an opportunity to sustain an increased production of food products to supply that demand.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news