Local efforts recognised, as positive national water quality trend released

Following the release of National River Water Quality Trends today, Environment Canterbury acknowledges the effort of water zone committees, Canterbury landowners, businesses, iwi, council staff, and community groups to improve local rivers. 

This release by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) shows that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10-year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating.

Chief Scientist, Dr Tim Davie said, "Environment Canterbury regularly monitors the water quality of over 100 freshwater sites across our region.  The results are freely available on the LAWA website and form part of the national trend.”

“The Canterbury water quality data reflect the national picture that more sites are improving than declining, a pleasing result.” Davie said.

Environment Canterbury works with local landowners, businesses, iwi and the wider community, to reduce run-off and pollution into local waterways, manage river ecosystems, and maintain good water levels.  These interactions are positive and Tim Davie said it’s clear Canterbury residents care about the quality of our rivers and streams.

Communities are a key factor in improving water quality

Davie said, “Our community carries out important work to improve the quality of our waterways and we assist them to achieve this.

“It’s important to remember all our individual solutions contribute to the bigger picture, from restoring wetlands, riparian planting maintaining reserves, regular monitoring of freshwater sites, managing water consents, maintaining stop banks, to setting limits in plans; they are all part of a larger jigsaw”.

“The LAWA National River Water Quality Trends are promising and I hope that people feel empowered to get involved in freshwater management, whether that’s through attending local Water Zone Committee meetings, or by reducing their own water footprint,” said Davie.

Water quality is impacted by multiple factors.  The LAWA website connects New Zealanders with environmental data so they can make informed decisions and be meaningfully engaged in solutions.

LAWA is a collaboration between Environment Canterbury and New Zealand’s other 15 Regional and Unitary Councils, Cawthron Institute, and Ministry for the Environment.  It’s supported by Massey University and the Tindall Foundation.