The Otago Regional Council has an ongoing scientific study
programme under way, including establishing its own water
monitor farm programme as part of its drive to enhance and
improve water quality in the region under Plan Change 6A.
Regional council manager of resource science Matt Hickey said
four farms had been offered as part of the water monitoring
''At the moment, we have three dairy farms and one sheep and
beef farm, and we are looking for a sheep, beef and cropping
one for something a bit different.''
The farms were in Hawea Flat and the Maniototo.
''We are looking for one in North Otago as well,'' Mr Hickey
The council was also working with the Maniototo Irrigation
Company, which would help with water sampling. DairyNZ was
looking at setting up its own water monitoring programme as
well, he said.
During the project, measurements would be taken of inputs
such as fertiliser and any loss or discharges would be
''The next stage is for us to set up sample sites on the
farms, and some will require putting in monitoring equipment
such as rain gauges and flow monitors.
''We hope to have those in by the start of September.''
The team would release reports every six months and the
regional council would hold field days.
It had several other projects on the go, including working
with Calder Stewart on a wetland near Milton and with
forestry company Rayonier NZ to measure sediment loss and
turbidity in felled areas in Glendhu Forest.
Mr Hickey said the Otago Regional Council was also looking at
validation work of nitrogen loss levels in Wanaka and Hawea
lakes area using Overseer.
His work included investigating issues at Kakanui, near
Oamaru, looking at leaching near sensitive aquifers and high
intensity dairy farming sites, and water quality for the
Lindis and Cardrona areas, as well as a large programme
focusing on minimum flows for Otago rivers.
''It takes a while to get around to each catchment.''
His water budget for the programmes was $5,187,000. The
minimum flow projects would cost about $1.5 million per
He appreciated the assistance from the farmers and the
- by Yvonne O'Hara