Improving water quality in Christchurch’s streams and rivers is something that local people want and is a priority for the Christchurch West Melton zone committee, says committee chair Arapata Reuben.
Over the past two years, the zone committee has been working collaboratively on how to deal with the impact of stormwater on urban waterways.
“Everyone who lives or works in Christchurch collectively needs to do more, sooner rather than later, to improve the health of Christchurch’s urban waterways.”
Work to physically improve the stormwater network sits with the Christchurch City Council which in late June lodged a comprehensive stormwater network discharge consent application.
This consent sets out the CCC’s proposed approach to managing the public stormwater network for the coming 35 years and is of significant importance to residents and ratepayers.
“Christchurch City Council has a key leadership, facilitation, and implementation role in improving stormwater management,” says Arapata Reuben.
The zone committee – set up as a joint committee of CCC, Selwyn District Council and Environment Canterbury as part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy – has formally agreed to support the Council’s proposed direction on stormwater, while at the same time recognising the financial constraints on the Council’s intention to reduce impacts on urban waterways.
“The zone committee will continue to work with the Council to help find affordable and effective solutions to improving the quality and reducing the quantity of stormwater discharged from the network,” says Arapata Reuben.
“We also recommend that non-structural stormwater solutions are developed collaboratively with the wider community as the key to achieving improvements in water quality in the next five to 10 years.”
The stormwater outcomes sought by the Christchurch West Melton zone committee are:
- More stormwater is treated to a better standard at source before it is discharged to the public stormwater network or an urban waterway.
- The public stormwater network is better able to treat and manage stormwater.
- More people understand and reduce their stormwater footprint.
- The effects of stormwater run-off and downstream flooding are reduced.
What causes stormwater pollution?
Stormwater, which is any water that falls on roads, paths and other hard surfaces, picks up pollution and flows untreated via drains into local waterways. This affects the health and water quality of local streams and rivers.