The Regional Council is working with farmers and community groups to improve the health of our local rivers, lakes and estuaries. This dashboard will help you learn about the water quality issues in the Maraekakaho Sub-Catchment of the Ngaruroro Catchment.
We will update this section with summary information soon. If you have information about water quality, ecosystem health, or mana whenua/hapū knowledge that you would like to be included, please contact us email@example.com.
Click on the below icons to learn more about the water quality at each monitoring site, and to access the dashboard for that site.
The banding for the attributes is based on the National Objectives Framework (NOF), outlined in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, 2020 (NPSFM 2020). You can learn more about the NOF below. All the data in these dashboards meets HBRC quality assurance and reporting standards.
Nitrogen (DIN) is not included as an attribute in the NOF, so for these dashboards we have used the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000). The guidelines distinguish between upland and lowland streams and set a guideline DIN value for each. Click here to learn more about the ANZECC guidelines.
The government sets out a ‘National Objectives Framework’ (NOF) directing how councils should set objectives, policies and rules about fresh water in their regional plans.
Essentially, councils need to understand the current state of the waterways in their region and how communities value these waterways. Councils then need to determine what goals should be set for the future, based on economic, social, cultural and economic factors. Waterways that fall below the National Bottom Line for any attributes in the NOF are deemed to be degraded, and must be improved. Further degradation of any waterways should be prevented.
NOF defines a number of compulsory attributes that measure ecosystem health using bands. Attribute bands range from A (good), B, C, or D (poor). In the case of E. coli, bands range from A (good) to E (poor).
Attributes require five years of data because of the significant seasonal variation in contaminant levels and stream characteristics through the year. This period gives an accurate overall picture of the state of the waterway.
E. coli, DIN, DRP and clarity data are collected monthly, and macroinvertebrates are measured annually.
The dotted black line represents the statistic used to determine the NOF band (median or 95th percentile, calculated over five years). The coloured band that the black line sits in corresponds to its NOF band.
Where there is some ambiguity, check the coloured teardrop icon for that attribute. The colour of the teardrop corresponds to the NOF band.
As well as causing direct issues in waterways, sediment (soil particles) can carry phosphorus and pathogens like E. coli with it. Processes and practices that expose soil, or increase its mobility, generate increased levels of sediment. This sediment gets washed into rivers and streams by surface runoff. Most sediment, phosphorous, and E. coli losses come from a small part of the landscape, called critical source areas. These places may include areas of erosion, stock yards, tracks, races and intensively grazed areas. Other sources of phosphorous and E. coli in streams include fertiliser and animal waste. The key to preventing these contaminants from entering waterways, is to keep your soil where it is, reduce runoff to waterways, and to protect critical source areas.
These are key actions that will reduce the amount of sediment, E. coli and phosphorus entering waterways, to influence better water quality outcomes:
As well as supporting nuisance plant and algae growth, high levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) can affect stream ecology and can even be toxic to humans and livestock. Unlike phosphorous which attaches itself to soil particles, nitrate generally leaches through the soil and enters streams and waterways via groundwater. The key to minimising nitrogen loss to waterways, is to manage conditions in your paddocks so that excess nitrogen cannot be washed through the soil profile and into freshwater systems.
These are key actions that will reduce the amount of nitrogen entering waterways, to influence better water quality outcomes:
The waterways and near-stream habitats in many developed agricultural landscapes no longer support the abundance and diversity of freshwater fish and bug communities that once existed here. Just like humans, bugs and fish need a specific set of things to flourish and thrive. Good and healthy habitat is important, which includes:
Bugs and fish also require enough oxygen in the water. Low temperatures, nutrient levels, and sediment levels are important for ensuring good levels of oxygen in the water.
These are key actions that will improve biodiversity in and around your waterways, to influence better water quality and stream health outcomes:
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