Developing ecological sites, sediment monitoring and working to achieve community-set water quality targets are among the projects Bay of Plenty Regional Council will lead this year, having allocated 23 percent of its $108.8 million annual budget on work to care for the region’s water.
Water quality and quantity work across the Bay of Plenty includes working with communities to ascertain water values, including the science required to support them.
This will enable the council to implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, which includes notifying the Water Quantity Plan Change.
In addition to region-wide activities, the council’s 2016/17 annual plan includes actions specific to certain areas.
In Rotorua, for example, the council will increase its current work in the lakes to achieve community-set water quality targets; encourage landowners to convert their land to less nitrogen-producing uses; convert gorse to productive forestry or native bush to reduce nitrogen flowing into Lake Rotorua and develop 16 high-value ecological sites, among other projects.
In Tauranga Harbor, work includes sediment monitoring and control, fencing a further 50 km of streams, developing 15 high-value ecological sites and dredging the Opureora channel.
“Tauranga Harbor and its catchment are a priority for the council’s work to care for the land, air and water in this region,” regional council chief executive Mary-Anne Macleod said.
“We will continue and expand on our efforts to deliver work the community has asked for, including reducing harbor sedimentation and mangrove spread, improving water quality and managing sea lettuce.”
“Our waterways are treasures that many people in the community rely on for recreation, food and business. Our natural resources are vital to how we live and we need everyone to help protect and maintain our streams, rivers and lakes by taking care with what they do on land and in the water,” Mary-Anne added.
The 2016/17 annual plan details what activities the council will undertake and how they will be paid for.