Discovery Issue 32
Intergrated Catchment Management - December 2010
In this issue
Connecting land & water — a fresh start?
Fresh water provides New Zealand’s $25 billion a year primary production with its competitive advantage and is pivotal to our clean, green brand and $8 billion a year tourism industry. But fresh water is more than an economic resource. It supports social, cultural and recreational values as well - and therein lies a tension.
Land use impacts on water quality
A 2-year water quality study of the Motueka River catchment at the start of the ICM research identified poor water quality in one area, due largely to the daily crossing of streams by dairy cows.
Catchments extend offshore
All New Zealand catchments drain to the coast. ICM research showed that the Motueka ‘catchment’ effectively extends offshore, affecting more than 400 km2 of the marine environment of Tasman Bay. Physical and chemical (nutrient) characteristics of the water column within the river plume stimulate the growth of micro-algae on which shellfish (including farmed mussels) depend for food.
Ideas & catchment futures
Catchment-scale modelling utilises knowledge from all ICM research strands. It offers an opportunity to provide councils and sector groups with strategic advice that assesses impacts not only of future mixes of land and coastal uses, but also of other types of development such as population growth scenarios.
Iwi values in intergrated catchment management
ICM research work with Motueka iwi Te Atiawa, Ngāti Rarua and Ngāti Tama, through Tiakina Te Taiao Ltd, has attracted national attention from government and Māori groups wanting to implement collaborative science and resource management projects.
Management is a distinctly human process. Social science in the ICM programme has developed and trialled tools and approaches that can be used by research groups, agency staff and other community leaders to support more effective multi-stakeholder processes for learning and decision-making.
Silent movement from mountains to sea
Despite relatively low sediment yields by New Zealand standards, land management for fine sediment control and river gravel extraction have both been contentious issues in the Motueka catchment.
Research supporting good water management
The September 2010 report of the Land and Water Forum identified the catchment as ‘in most cases the best physical unit for management of waterways’ concluding that science and management effort should be directed towards integrated catchment management initiatives. Water management achievements from ICM research addressed many of the recommendations of the forum report.
‘This programme has been fantastic for us ...’, ‘Previously a lot of New Zealand science has been single issue ...’, ‘Motueka is attempting to be truly integrative ...’, ‘Iwi started out wanting to improve the quality of the river ... ’, ‘It’s been really positive working with all the different people ...’