The Waimakariri Zone Committee meets on the first Monday of each month.
by Claire McKay
Welcome to the second report from the Waimakariri Zone Committee working as part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
Last month we talked about the zone implementation programme – which sets actions to improve water quality – which was developed by the Committee and this month I will focus on how we can all play a part in improving water quality in our streams and waterways.
It’s taken generations for our water quality to deteriorate to its current low levels and we know it will take generations for it to improve. However, we can all take actions now that will begin to make a difference in the future.
All stormwater in the Waimakariri District that runs from roofs, roads, driveways, businesses and parks flows, via gutters and drains, into a network of underground pipes and waterways and finally ends up, untreated, in our streams and rivers. That means, if you clean your car, rinse out your paint brushes, apply garden chemicals close to a gutter, hose down your driveway, water blast your roof or leave your dog droppings on the grass verge, all the pollutants in that run off water will end up in the streams and rivers.
Anything that goes down our drains will end up in our rivers. In addition, everyday activities at work can create pollution that could end up in our waterways. It’s particularly important for workplaces that store and use oils and hazardous substances to have stormwater protection measures and spill procedures in place to prevent any pollution getting into the stormwater network.
If you live outside town on a farm or lifestyle block, you have a key role to play in improving water quality. You should be aware of the regulations in relation to stock management. Under the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan farmed pigs, all cattle and deer are actually prohibited from entering natural waterways.
In the Waimakariri District, we have an extensive stock water race system that provides drinking water to stock. The District Council has a Stockwater Bylaw 2007 which prohibits animals lingering in a water race. Where possible, reticulation of this water to stock is preferable to allowing them open access to drinking stations. As a matter of good practice all stock should be excluded from waterways through appropriate fencing and using culverts and bridges at river and stream crossings. This will stop stock from contaminating our waterways with their faeces or urine and trampling banks, which increases the discharge of sediment downstream. The Zone Implementation Programme also supports the exclusion of stock from waterways.
Development of a wide buffer between stock and the waterway also allows for more effective filtering of run off in rain events and planting of this buffer zone with riparian plants, such as natives, will also help remove nutrients from shallow ground water before they enter the water way. Native plants, if used appropriately have aesthetic value as well as ecosystem and biodiversity value.
Implementation of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) will have a positive impact on water quality. The LWRP provides the framework and mechanisms for delivery of key outcomes set out in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. It is expected that the Plan will become operative later this year and will provide clear direction on how land and water are to be managed in both urban and rural areas. We all have a part to play and we can all contribute to better water quality outcomes.
Canterbury Water Management Strategy (pdf 3.28 MB)
Waimakariri ZIP (pdf 8.27 MB)
Waimakariri Management Zone - Update of regulation requirements for water takes of 20 l/s or more (May 2013) (pdf 230 kB)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
More contact details »