GLENORCHY LANDCARE GROUP
Glenorchy Landcare group works with ORC to understand water quality.
The Otago Regional Council, in conjunction with the Glenorchy Landcare group, carried out water quality sampling during the 2013/14 growing season within tributaries of Lake Wakatipu, from Greenstone Station around to Closeburn Station near Queenstown.
Initially Council met with the Glenorchy Landcare Group in June 2013 to outline changes to the Otago Water Plan involving setting of water quality limits within waterways, nitrogen leaching rates to groundwater, and prohibited and permitted activities.
Group members were keen to get more information about water quality in their area to see how it compared with water quality limits within Schedule 15 of the Water Plan. Although water quality information had been collected for the Dart River for a number of years, the group wished to build up a wider range of water quality data information from an increased number of waterways.
The group identified 18 tributaries within their area that represented both farming and native non-farmed catcments. Farming catchments included extensive high country grazing, semi-intensive hill country, and intensive flats.
Three rounds of sampling were carried out in the tributaries, December, February and May 2014. Testing was carried out for ammonia, nitrates/nitrites, dissolved reactive phosphate, turbidity and Ecoli. Ammonia, turbidity and phosphate met the water quality limits for all farming tributaries. There were some elevated Ecoli and Nitrates/nitrites on intensive flat country that will require some follow up. It should be noted that water quality results that are more than the Schedule 15 limits are not a compliance issue but can be viewed as an opportunity to identify management aspects that could give rise to elevated reasons. In some cases these may be non farming animal inputs.
Contact: Iris & Kate Scott Ph: 03 442 9908