Wai on the mind

He mihi kau ana ki te hunga e noho puhuru mai na i waenganui i o ratou whanau, no reira tena ra koutou katoa!

Wai/freshwater is pivotal to our lives. We rely on it to live, while often not thinking about the effects that our consumption has on our water sources and wider environment.

But it doesn’t mean that we should shy away from having conversations about where, how and what we need to do to ensure our tamariki and rangatahi have the same access and quality of water that we have today.

Many different people are involved with ensuring we are provided with good levels of water quality and quantity, but it’s important to think about the role we play in this process, ensuring this resource remains available for us and for our future generations.

Water quality a Committee priority

Water quality is a key focus for the Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee (BPWZC) and we work closely with councils and other organisations to help ensure Banks Peninsula has a safe and secure drinking water resource. Sharing data, research and other information with the community is an important part of this.

We also look closely at how we can support rural landowners to understand and follow rules around stock exclusion and riparian planting, and work with councils to support farmers with this.

Knowing what our community thinks of these topics allows us to carry out our roles more effectively and take you with us on the journey, so we’d love to hear what you think – send us an email.

Working Group identifies hot topics

Our Committee has a dedicated Water Quantity Working Group, that identifies hot topics in the water quality/quantity space, then brings them back to the Committee for discussion.

Recently, the Working Group has been looking at methods to estimate household and stock water use, how much is too much and challenges for sensitive catchments.

The Group is also in discussions with experts in the water quantity field and is working through ways that we can help our community understand how we can make sure our access to clean, quality drinking water for our people and animals is sustainable.

Water use during drier months

Banks Peninsula can see some pretty big rain events, but we are also subject to dry, hot summers – so balancing our use and conservation is important year-round.

These fluctuations in temperature and water levels means we need to be thinking about ways to reduce impacts on local waterways, while preserving water where we can, to use during those drier months.

Rain gardens can be a wonderful source of sustainable water filtration. They are engineered gardens that are designed to use vegetation and soil features to filter and treat stormwater naturally.

They can be used to reduce the effects of stormwater volumes, peak flows and contaminant loads on waterways. Christchurch City Council has some good information about them.

Collecting and using rainwater on your property can also help to reduce environmental impacts during heavy rain events, while providing you with a water top-up during summer.

The Committee welcomes feedback from the community about current issues or good news stories you know of, in the freshwater space.

Our monthly meetings are also public, and all are welcome. See when and where the next one is.

Na, Benita.