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Regional Waterwatch Programme Approved for City

Auckland City Council

Press Release

August 5, 1999

Auckland City will join other councils in the Auckland region in supporting Waterwatch, a community water quality monitoring, education and action programme.

The council's City Works Committee has approved $50,000 to set up the programme, and $10,000 each year to maintain it.

Waterwatch brings together schools, community groups, landowners and other residents to test the quality of their local watercourse so action can be taken to maintain and improve water quality.

Committee chairperson Cr Doug Astley says the programme is intended to cover a wide range of water sources - from streams, ponds and beaches to whole catchments and "that little drain at the back of the property".

" Waterwatch has huge potential for success because of its very practical approach and direct community involvement. It gives groups the tools they need to make a real difference in water quality throughout the city, and raises awareness of the issues generally," said Cr Astley.

Testing kits and a manual are provided, giving groups step-by-step guidance in developing a monitoring programme for their local watercourse. This enables them to collect real and useful data through checklists and tests to monitor the physical and chemical conditions of the water.

Water bugs, frogs, algae, pollution events, litter, illegal discharges and natural habitat are monitored to give groups and the council information about how healthy and productive the watercourses are. Results will be stored in central databases through a website, where they are accessible to all.

Community Boards are being asked to suggest groups to pilot the programme and Waterwatch will be fully released in July next year.

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