Report shines light on progress towards water management goals

A new Environment Canterbury report details the actions underway to manage fresh water in the region.

The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) was adopted in 2009 and sets out a community-led approach to sustainable water management. It encompasses 10 target areas and sets water management goals for each area.

Environment Canterbury publishes the CWMS progress report on behalf of the CWMS partners, which include Ngāi Tahu, local authorities, non-government bodies, and industry groups.

Measuring progress toward our goals

The 2021 CWMS progress report looks back on the 2020 goals and indicates whether they have been met, providing context and actions that have taken place over the last 12 years.

It also outlines actions that are being planned or are currently underway, which will help towards achieving goals set for 2025.

Environment Canterbury Director of Science Dr Tim Davie says moving reporting from a document to an online platform allows for greater transparency around the work that is being done in Canterbury.

"What this report does is show how much work still needs to be done to achieve the CWMS goals," Tim said.

"We've made great strides in some areas, such as riparian planting, river mouth protection and setting nutrient discharge limits, but we're not meeting the goals we set for ourselves in some other target areas,” he added.

"CWMS partners will be able to take this information and use it to inform work programmes designed to achieve the goals relevant to them."

Tim went on to say that reporting explicitly on whether goals have been met was difficult, as in many cases there is no mechanism in place for measuring progress.