groundwater assessment equipment

Achieving the community’s water goals is a long-term game — particularly when it comes to groundwater, when change isn’t immediately visible. We need to bear this in mind when we set targets and assess progress against them.

The Canterbury Water Management Strategy provides a collaborative framework to help manage multiple demands on our precious water resource. It sets water management targets for 2015, 2020 and 2040.

You can read a summary of progress against 2015 targets below. The targets are regional rather than zone-based and cover 10 broad areas. The summary is based on the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Targets Report 2015 (PDF File, 4.04MB).

Summary of progress against targets

Ecosystem health and biodiversity
Freshwater species and their habitat

No further reduction in the number and areas of existing salmon spawning sites.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Increasing annual trout spawning counts in identified important areas (based on a 5-year average) as an indicator of habitat availability for salmonid and indigenous fish species.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Drylands

Maintain existing high quality indigenous aquatic and dryland ecosystems in intermontane basins and on the plains.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Wetlands

Protected all and restored at least two significant wetlands in each zone.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Hāpua, lagoons and estuaries

Accelerate the current riparian restoration and management programme for Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and tributary streams.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Lowland streams

Protect and enhance the ecological health of the best examples of lowland streams ecosystems in each zone.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Improve ecosystem condition in at least another 10 per cent of lowland streams in each zone.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

High country and foothill streams

Highlighted any high country spring-fed or foothill streams where ecosystem health is declining, and identified the cause with an action plan in place.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Understanding emergent contaminant risks

Understood any emerging contaminant risks and identified any at-risk areas for targeted management.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Environmental flows

Identified areas where catchment load limits for nutrients are not met, prioritised areas and implemented actions to ensure there is no further enrichment.

Demonstrated, and included in implementation programmes, how land within the zone will be managed to achieve catchment load limits.

Achieved nutrient efficiency targets for the zone on all new irrigated land and 50 per cent of other rural properties (and of properties within urban boundaries that apply nutrients over significant areas).

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Catchment nutrient loads

Identified where environmental flows are not met or require change to meet ecosystem health and biodiversity outcomes and implemented actions to rectify.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Natural character of braided rivers
Braided river character

From 2010, maintain the braided character of all Canterbury’s braided rivers by maintaining the upper catchments of Canterbury’s alpine braided rivers as largely natural ecosystems and landscapes.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

From 2010, maintain the braided character of all Canterbury’s braided rivers by maintaining the extent of active floodplains, flow variability and sediment flow processes including when undertaking river protection works, land-use change or deliberate vegetation stabilisation.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

From 2010, maintain the braided character of all Canterbury’s braided rivers by supporting the dynamics of river mouths and coastal processes.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

From 2010, maintain the braided character of all Canterbury’s braided rivers by banning new dams on the main stem of major alpine braided rivers.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Environmental flows

Identified where environmental flows do not include flood peaks, flow variability, flood periodicity, and channel forming flows and implemented actions to rectify.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Ecosystems, habitats and species

Enhance and protect breeding populations of indigenous braided river birds.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Riparian wetlands, springs and lagoons

Protected the indigenous habitats in riparian wetlands, springs and the lagoons associated with braided rivers.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Marae water supply

From 2010, prevent further decline in the quality or quantity of water bodies used as a drinking water supply to marae and associated papakāinga.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Kaitiakitanga
Working together in partnership

Protocols for the recognition and exercise of mana, including kaitiakitanga within the Ngāi Tahu rohe, are implemented.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Iwi Management Plans in place for all zonal areas.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Institutional capability within local government to adequately recognise and provide for the principle of kaitiakitanga in water management.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

A formal co-governance arrangement (developed in partnership by Ngāi Tahu, the Crown and Canterbury local government) for the active management of Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) and its catchment.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

A system for appointing Ngāi Tahu tangata tiakiwai (water guardians) who have formal recognition and support from local government is established.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Wāhi taonga and mahinga kai

All degraded wāhi taonga and mahinga kai waterways nominated by Ngāi Tahu have an active restoration programme in place that responds to cultural priorities.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

A report on the health of all Ngāi Tahu nominated water-bodies using the Ngāi Tahu Cultural Health Monitoring Tool.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Identified customary uses (current and potentially restored) for all waterways.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

A programme for identifying cultural preferences for river and stream flow agreed in each zone

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Work and research has commenced on establishing a mahinga kai food gathering standard.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Drinking water
Source water quality

For those communities that currently have access to untreated and safe drinking water, implement actions to ensure the source water quality remains high enough to meet the current Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand without treatment.

Prevent further decline in source water quality for those communities that currently have to treat drinking water, such that this requires increased level of treatment or monitoring requirements.

No new activities in a drinking water catchment that reduce access to sufficient quantities of drinking water supplies.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Emerging contaminant risks

Emerging contaminant risks are understood and any at risk areas identified for targeted management, and a remedial programme underway.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Catchment nutrient load

Set catchment load limits for nitrate consistent with drinking water quality targets for each zone, identified priority areas where targets are not met and implemented actions to ensure there is no further enrichment.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Demonstrated, and included in implementation programmes, how land within the zone will be managed to achieve catchment load limits.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Recreational and amenity opportunities
Water-based recreational opportunities

A positive trend in the availability and/ or quality of recreational opportunities in each zone.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Recreational water flows

Identified where environmental flows are not met or require change to meet recreational outcomes and implemented actions to rectify.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Freshwater angling

A positive trend in the availability and/or quality of freshwater angling opportunities. An increase in freshwater angler numbers (or catch rates) assessed over a five year average.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Recreational water quality

At least 80 per cent of river bathing sites graded as suitable for contact recreation.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Water use efficiency
General

Sixty per cent of water used for irrigation is operating according to best practice water use.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Benchmarking

Established and reported against a benchmark of current water use efficiency for irrigation, community (potable, industrial and commercial) and stock water.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Irrigated land area
Land area and reliability

Increased the area of irrigated land and/or reliability of irrigation.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Infrastructure

A system of regionally-distributed rural water Infrastructure for the storage and distribution of water that provides reliable water to all irrigated land has been designed, timetabled, costed and staged.

The system has been demonstrated to align with the principles and targets of the strategy.

Decide mechanisms for funding infrastructure and the on-going operation of the strategy.

Started on the infrastructure (or reconfiguration of existing consents) that facilitates efficiency improvements and is linked into the regional storage plan.

Specified, for each zone, their infrastructure requirements consistent with the regional storage plan, and the principles and targets of the strategy.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Energy security and efficiency
General

Started projects to generate electricity from existing irrigation infrastructure.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Efficiency

Identified and implemented opportunities to reduce electricity used in the use of water.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Indicators of regional and national economies
General

Increase the value and employment added per unit of water.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Externalities and opportunity costs

From 2010, any assessments of regional economic value factor in externalities (e.g. water quality treatment costs, climate change emissions, changed recreational values) as well as the costs of environmental repair and restorations.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Environmental limits
Environmental flows and catchment load limits

Set environmental flows for surface streams, rivers and groundwater that are consistent with the fundamental principles of the CWMS and that:

  • are consistent with ecosystem health and biodiversity targets
  • for all braided rivers include flood peaks, flow variability, flood periodicity and channel forming flows to maintain their braided character and ecosystems
  • afford protection to instream values identified in Ngāi Tahu policies
  • are consistent with the recreational uses of the water body
  • consider all the target areas of this strategy.

Set catchment load limits for nutrients for each water management zone that are consistent with the fundamental principles of the CWMS and that:

  • are consistent with ecosystem health, drinking water and biodiversity targets
  • afford protection to instream values identified in Ngāi Tahu policies
  • are consistent with recreational uses of the water body
  • consider all the target areas of this strategy.

Established and begun to implement a programme to apply environmental flows to existing consents.

Not Started | Started | Progress | Good Progress | Achieving

Water quality monitoring

Routine water quality monitoring is carried out for a range of water quality measures in Canterbury, including nutrient enrichment, water clarity, microbiological contamination, invertebrate and fish communities, algae and aquatic plant cover.

Water quality monitoring helps us:

  • establish baseline conditions
  • detect long-term trends
  • measure progress towards targets
  • determine suitability for uses
  • measure the effectiveness of on-the-ground actions
  • check compliance with standards
  • assess adequacy of controls on discharges
  • measure the effectiveness of planning approaches.

We present information from surface water quality and groundwater quality monitoring in reports. 

  • View our technical reports here