Air quality data has been added to the LAWA website – www.lawa.org.nz - where local residents can find information on the air in Hastings, Napier and Awatoto.
LAWA (Land Air Water Aotearoa) is the national environmental monitoring website which displays real time environmental data from around New Zealand. LAWA was launched in 2014 and is a collaboration between the 16 regional and unitary councils which supply the data, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and has been supported by the Tindall Foundation.
Air quality is the latest data to be included in LAWA along with data on coastal water quality, river levels, fresh water quantity, and lakes.
“The LAWA website uses simple data displays so that people can easily find out about air quality issues and goals for cleaner air across New Zealand, and they can click through to check air quality results for their town,” says Iain Maxwell, Group Manager Resource Management.
The four recent air quality exceedances in Hastings are shown on the daily graph for the last 30 days. Hastings has exceeded the National Air Quality Standard limit of 50 micrograms per cubic metre with 3 results of 55 micrograms per cubic metre on 5, 14 and 18 June and an exceedance of 61 micrograms/m3 on 15 June.
The air quality data for LAWA is supplied directly from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s three monitoring sites in Napier, Hastings and Awatoto. It shows the latest hourly and daily data for air pollutants, measured as PM10, as well as long term seasonal and annual trends.
“Despite some mild winter daytime temperatures, Hastings has had a few good frosts and very little wind which means that smoke from home fires stays low around homes where it’s a health risk for many people,” says Dr Kathleen Kozyniak, HBRC’s air quality scientist.
HBRC has Heatsmart loans and grants available to assist people in the cities to upgrade to clean heating options, and take up of these facilities has been good.
As well as the wealth of monitoring data, the LAWA website also includes a River of the Month video and useful information and news on environmental issues. Plans are for LAWA to expand, and a new groundwater data module is in the planning stages.
25 August 2016
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