Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


High-Tech monitoring stations set for Kaipara Harbour

High-Tech monitoring stations set for Kaipara Harbour

Scientists are installing state-of-the-art equipment in the Kaipara Harbour next month that will monitor water quality and help improve their ability to predict water clarity.

Researchers from NIWA, Auckland Council and the Northland Regional Council will establish three Estuarine Monitoring Systems (EMS) at Tikonui Wharf near Ruawai, and at two sites further south in the Hoteo system.

The Tikonui station will measure the water quality of the Wairoa system - the largest freshwater inflow to the harbour and one known from previous NIWA studies to be the dominant source of fine sediment to the harbour.

The other two stations are instrumented buoys located in the tidal reach of the Hoteo River and adjacent harbour at Orongo Point.

The main focus of the stations is to measure water quality in the harbour and tidal creek waters, particularly water clarity which is affected by fine sediment, but also by organic matter and phytoplankton.

Sedimentation in many New Zealand estuaries has increased 10-fold over the last 150 years largely due to land clearance and agricultural conversion. There is increasing appreciation that these fine sediments have major ecological impacts, including preventing light from reaching important ecosystems (such as seagrass). This in turn reduces opportunities for some fish species and sea birds to feed.

The project, which is funded by central and regional government, will also see continuous measurement of water temperature, salinity, tidal height, water currents and waves. The stations will operate continuously, powered by solar panels, and near real-time data will be retrieved remotely.

The data will be used by council staff and NIWA researchers and made publicly available on Auckland Council’s website. It can then be accessed by harbour users to check weather conditions before they venture out.

Andrew Swales, NIWA’s coastal scientist co-ordinating the project, said the new stations were important tools in helping resource managers and researchers better understand the processes affecting the Kaipara Harbour.

“These stations comprise state-of-the-art measuring instruments that will give us the most accurate information possible.”

Auckland Council senior marine scientist Dr Jarrod Walker said this research programme will provide important data on big weather events which contribute large loads of sediment to the harbour. Understanding these types of processes are critical in determining where the main sources of sediment are coming from and what can be done to reduce them.

NIWA principal scientist and project leader, Dr Rob Davies-Colley, said that the stations were a crucial part of studies into fine sediment and other pollutants that affect Kaipara Harbour.

The research is also expected to have national significance. “Diffuse pollutants such as fine sediment, nutrients and microbes are a pervasive problem in many of New Zealand’s waters,” says Dr Davies-Colley. “Our estuaries and other coastal waters are often particularly degraded by these land-derived pollutants.”

A public information evening about the monitoring stations is to be held on Wednesday, 19 March from 7pm at the Mangakura Boat Club, SH16, Hoteo.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news