The Christchurch–West Melton Water Management Zone Committee meeting schedule.
Read past committee agendas and minutes
The Christchurch West Melton Water Management Zone Committee had the opportunity to question scientists about the likely origin of contamination in the Avon and Heathcote rivers at its meeting on Wednesday 23 March.
The committee, one of 10 zone committees in Canterbury, is working collaboratively to develop effective water management solutions for the Christchurch-West Melton area.
In February, the zone committee requested the opportunity to learn more about the faecal contamination results discussed in an Environmental and Science Research Ltd. (ESR) study published in December 2015.
ESR took water samples from a total of nine sites around the Avon and Heathcote rivers and Estuary between April and September 2015.
E. coli levels in the water samples were typically elevated, exceeding recreational water guideline values on a number of occasions during base flow, and after rainfall almost all samples exceeded recreational water guideline values.
Faecal contamination from wild birdlife such as ducks and geese was the dominant source during base flow, with some human sources detected particularly after rainfall events. Faecal contamination from dogs was also detected following rainfall.
ESR scientist Elaine Moriarty and Christchurch City Council planning engineer Mike Bourke attended the meeting to discuss results and answer questions. Read more...
Chair’s Column: Caring for our Urban Waterways
On March 16, the Southern Environmental Trust Forum took place. The theme of the forum this year is Caring for our Urban Waterways. Christchurch-West Melton Zone Committee chair Arapata Reuben discussed the need for everyone to play a role in looking after Canterbury’s waterways.
Once again public attention is being directed at our polluted urban waterways, in particular the Ōtākaro/Avon and Ōpawaho/Heathcote Rivers.
Social media and news media working together are powerful tools for raising awareness and drawing attention to particular issues. I can see the on-line energy building and support growing from people wanting to address our local fresh water issues.
However there is a real risk that all the on-line activity fails to translate into action on the ground. And what I mean by ‘action’ is going that step beyond clicking ‘like’ or completing an on-line petition. Don’t get me wrong: these are all good things, but our rivers and streams need urgent attention now. We need real changes in behaviour that will contribute to a collective response to caring for our urban waterways. Read more...
View larger map (jpg 158 kB)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
More contact details »