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Water and land management – good progress in Lower Waitaki

Published: 11/04/2012 4:17 p.m. 

Addressing Waimate District Council yesterday, Environment Canterbury Commissioner Tom Lambie outlined the good progress being made towards delivery of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) via regional and local implementation programmes.

The draft regional implementation programme (RIP) is now out for public review.

The draft Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP), a key delivery mechanism for the CWMS, will soon be going out for public consultation as well. Sub-regional chapters of the LWRP will include additional policies and rules to help with delivery of zone priorities and collaboratively determined water quality requirements.

Mr Lambie thanked the local community and tangata whenua for their efforts to date and emphasised the need for collaborative action, particularly on the challenging issues around water quality.

The zone implementation programme (ZIP) for Lower Waitaki – South Coastal Canterbury has been accepted by the Waimate and Waitaki district councils and endorsed by Environment Canterbury to form the basis for the design and realignment of council work and planning programmes for fresh water.

This ZIP will be taken into account in preparing future RIPs. It covers a wide range of important issues including biodiversity and environmental protection, water and nutrient management (including reliability of supply), and particular challenges for the Waitaki River and Hakataramea and Wainono Lagoon catchments.

Mr Lambie says the zone is characterised by a close to fully allocated water take and highly productive dairy farms.
“The impact of dairy on nutrients needs particular attention,” he said. “There are some very compromised areas such as Wainono Lagoon and the Hakataramea. Irrigation schemes need to work co-operatively to make sure over-allocation of water in some areas is offset against under use in other areas.”

Mr Lambie said the Waitaki River and South Canterbury Coast sub-regional chapter of the LWRP would cover a series of priorities from each zone committee, a catchment flow and allocation regime for Waihao River and Wainono Lagoon, groundwater allocation limits and flow-sensitive catchments.

“I’m confident we are well placed to meet the major challenges of the future using the collaborative approach to water and land management that’s already proven highly effective in this area and throughout Canterbury,” Tom Lambie concluded.

For more information on the various plans visit Regional Strategies and Plans.

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