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Freshwater Science Holds Key to Water Quality

FRESHWATER SCIENCES SOCIETY

Media Release

24 November 2006


Freshwater Science Holds Key to Water Quality Improvement

International and national freshwater experts will be in Rotorua this week (27 November) talking about new technology, research and issues in freshwaters. The New Zealand Conference of Freshwater Sciences convener, Professor David Hamilton of Waikato University said, “Major themes in conference sessions have targeted many of the critical issues confronting freshwater resources in New Zealand, including didymo invasions, lake water quality and availability of water in dry regions of the country. An open community forum focused on lake water quality will cater for strong community interest in water quality of Lakes Rotorua and Taupo, and offers an opportunity for lively debate on how to manage competing the pressures and interests that influence lake water quality.”

The Society is pleased to have several visiting speakers, including Professor Alan Hildrew from the University of London, an internationally renowned expert in stream ecology.

Freshwater Sciences Society President Neil Deans, said, “Rotorua is a region which both depends on high quality freshwater resources and is grappling with major issues in freshwater management, particularly of its lakes. Researchers predicted some of the current issues decades ago, but their message was not addressed by most authorities at that time. Now the costs of clean up are in the tens of millions of dollars. Similar issues exist throughout the country, either of water quality or quantity, or biosecurity, such as with didymo. If New Zealand wishes to remain clean and green, methods of maintaining the quality of our freshwaters in the face of intensification of land use will need to be employed, or we will need to set and hold to the limits of resource use. This requires ongoing investment in research and environmental monitoring to prevent and address pollution or we will have to accept environmental degradation. There are some exciting technological or engineering developments which can assist in remediation, but, as always, prevention is better than cure.”

ENDS

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