Action on the ground
Environment Canterbury is working with several partners on a wide range of initiatives within the Upper Waitaki water zone. We've provided a snapshot of some key projects below.
Willowburn Stream project
The Willowburn Stream project aims to improve water quality and protect the biodiversity values within the catchment through stock exclusion and fencing along waterways, removal of crack willow infestations and enhancement of the recreational opportunities in the lower reaches.
We're also supporting local rūnanga to enhance the Nohoanga site at the base of the Willowburn Stream catchment. The stream is a tributary of the Ahuriri River and a priority waterway for the water zone committee.
Emergent pest species project
This three-year initiative involves working with landowners and other government agencies to control emergent pest species in the Upper Waitaki water zone before they become established.
Controlling emergent species will protect the indigenous biodiversity while also reducing future pest control costs in the zone. The project was funded through Environment Canterbury's Immediate Steps programme.
Water is a scarce commodity in the Omarama Catchment so we're working with landowners/consent holders to make sure they are supported in meeting their consent requirements, which are often complex.
We're also co-ordinating environmental monitoring to ensure data is available to inform decision making in the catchment and working to improve water quality and water use efficiency.
Love Your Lake
Love Your Lakes is a promotional campaign to encourage recreational lake users to respect the environment in the zone. We're using signage and stickers at lakes across the zone to promote key messages such as the importance of removing all waste, using toilet facilities provided and controlling dogs.
Other work being carried out in the Upper Waitaki zone includes:
- water use efficiency work led by industry
- management of visitor impacts led by district councils
- groundwater and surface water investigations led by Environment Canterbury
- government-funded wilding conifer control programme administered by Environment Canterbury
- development of Aquaculture Environment Plans led by industry.
Priorities to 2020
We've agreed on several areas of priority and outcomes to budget for and act on in the Upper Waitaki water zone, which we will measure progress against.
Water quality in waterways of the Upper Waitaki zone will be improved in high priority streams and maintained in other waterways
Farmers in the sensitive lake catchments are operating at Good Management Practice (GMP) levels or better
Farms with intensive farming practices are operating at Good Management Practice (GMP) levels or better
Change is occurring in farming management practices as a result of using Farm Environment Plans (FEPs) and Overseer tools
There is widespread ownership of the community’s catchment health