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 Otakarara Sub-Catchment of the Tūtaekurī Catchment.
We do not have a water quality monitoring site in this sub-catchment. For an indication of issues and priorities, explore the water quality in surrounding sub-catchments, and the Tūtaekurī River.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catchment size: 83,105 ha Main land use types: Sheep and Beef (26,599 ha; 32%) Exotic Forest (14,924 ha; 18%) Manuka and/or Kanuka (11,918 ha; 14%) Dairy (5,440 ha; 7%) Total native landcover: 19,463 ha (23%) Highly erodible land: 20,951 ha (25%) Estimated population: 6,613 people Key water bodies: Tūtaekurī River, Mangaone River, Lake Pohue Protected areas: View full list of protected areas - Mangaone Conservation Area - Mangaone River Marginal Strip - William Hartree Memorial Scenic Reserve - Kaweka Forest Park - Balls Clearing Scenic Reserve - Clifton Conservation Area - Dartmoor Road Local Purpose Reserve - Tūtaekurī River No 1 Marginal Strip - Brookfields Conservation Area - Otatara Pa Historic Reserve - Fern Bird Bush Nature Reserve - Tūtaekurī Climatic Reserve - Gold Creek Marginal Strip Number of QEII covenants: 26 (1 ha; 1%)
Fast facts: Otakarara Sub-Catchment
Sub-catchment size: 4,713 ha (6% of Tūtaekurī Catchment) Main land use types: Exotic Forest (1,477 ha; 31%) Sheep and Beef (1,393 ha; 30%) Manuka and/or Kanuka (507 ha; 11%) Beef (440 ha; 9%) Total native landcover: 810 ha (17% of sub-catchment area) Highly erodible land: 943 ha (20% of sub-catchment area) Estimated population: 74 people Key water bodies: Otakarara Stream Protected areas: Kaweka Forest Park Number of QEII covenants: 1 (5 ha; 0%)
This information was last updated in August 2022.
Figures are estimates calculated from HBRC and statistical demographic data.
Water quality in the Sub-Catchment
Click on the below icons to learn more about the water quality at each monitoring site, and to access the dashboard for that site.
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:
Maintain adequate pasture covers on soils vulnerable to sheet erosion.
Protect your soil. Plan and undertake a programme of tree planting to reduce erosion on vulnerable hill country.
Strategically break feed winter crops towards waterways, rather than away from them, and do so in parallel to the waterway. This will help to maintain an intercepting wedge of vegetation to catch sediment heading towards the waterways, for as long as possible. All winter forage cropping must have a minimum 5 metre buffer from any waterway, find more information about intensive winter grazing regulations here
Use minimum or no-till cultivation where possible, and cultivate across slope rather than up and down. Maintain grass buffers between cultivated paddocks and waterways.
Manage the runoff from laneways, races and yards where soil and high concentrations of animal excreta are readily mobilised.
Use sediment traps and bunds to filter and collect sediment in runoff. You can then redistribute this on farm.
Test your soil before you apply phosphate fertilisers, to prevent excessive applications. Maintain Olsen P at no more than the optimum range.
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:
Budget nutrient use, soil test regularly at block level, and if needed engage specialist help to ensure efficient and effective nutrient application. Excess nitrogen use is costly and can drain through the soil profile and into waterways.
Apply 'little and often' with split dressings of no more than 50 kgN/ha.
Avoid the application of nitrogen or effluent when plants are not actively growing (i.e. between May and August), or during periods of high risk (I.e. when heavy rain is forecast, or when soils are saturated). This will reduce excess nitrogen in the soil at times when it is likely to be washed away.
Retain or enhance shallow, boggy wetlands. Ecosystems like wetlands have very low levels of oxygen, which promotes the removal of nitrates from the water before entering streams and rivers.
Use feed supplements that have lower concentrations of soluble protein, like maize silage.
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:
A range of water flows
Passage along the length of streams so that NZ native fish can migrate
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:
Address excessive levels of sediment, nutrients and other contaminants entering waterways.
Maintain minimum flows in permanent streams.
Address barriers to fish passage.
Plant appropriate riparian vegetation to shade and cool waterways and shade out excessive plant/algae growth.
Maintain vegetated strips along the side of waterways to improve in and near-stream habitat.
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