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Funding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato freshwater project

Amy Adams


Govt funding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato freshwater project

Environment Minister Amy Adams today announced Government funding of $115,000 towards a project to improve regional council understanding of soil loss into water ways.

“Regional councils need better information to help them manage soil erosion and sediment build-up in our water ways. Most regions have monitoring programmes and collect data, but these have usually been developed in isolation,” Ms Adams says.

“Auckland Council and Northland and Waikato Regional Councils are proposing to calibrate their three different datasets to provide a regionally representative sampling programme.

“This will enable them to develop a model that can predict soil loss under different conditions of climate, land cover, and geology.

“Such a model could be used across all freshwater catchments and so benefit all regions around New Zealand. It could also help identify where resources need to be targeted to manage and mitigate soil loss into water.”

Sediment is caused by activities like forestry, farming or earthworks for building, or from flooding or natural erosion. It causes poor water quality for drinking, recreation and plant and animal life.

It clouds the water, making it difficult for aquatic plants to get the light they need. It destroys the natural habitat and food sources of aquatic animals, affects fish egg and larvae and clogs fish gills, reducing growth and making fish more susceptible to disease.

Sediment deposits can also affect flood controls and the depth and flow of the water, making it difficult to navigate and unsuitable for boating or swimming.

The $115,000 funding is from a round of the Environment Ministry’s Community Environment Fund.

The funding round was aimed at activities that support key elements of the Government’s freshwater programme, including implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and regional planning and community participation in freshwater management.

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