Bay of Plenty Regional Council is celebrating World Rivers Day on Sunday, September 25th.
The day gives the council a chance to promote the Bay of Plenty’s eight major rivers and encourage people to visit and value them for their unique characteristics and attractions. The 155km Rangitaiki River, for example, is the region’s longest and has been traditionally viewed by iwi as an eel fishery and important restoration issue. The Kaituna River is popular with white water rafters and features the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall (the 7m Tutea Falls) and the Motu River is of huge cultural and historical significance and features old tunnels built in consideration of a hydro-electric scheme on the river.
To also mark World Rivers Day, the Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa (LAWA) website has produced a summary of its River of the Month video series, which highlights councils’ and communities’ work to protect and enhance waterways throughout the country. The summary pays tribute to rivers in all regions including the Bay of Plenty; the Nukuhou River featured in 2015 after the Morgan Foundation named it the Bay of Plenty’s most-improved river. The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nibXEM0-70
LAWA’s World Rivers Day celebrations coincide with a refresh of its freshwater and coastal monitoring information, which allows people to access information on water quality at the various waterways in the Bay of Plenty. While this data has previously been available, the refresh means LAWA now features the latest freshwater and coastal information, as well as extended descriptions of the area surrounding each of the council’s monitoring sites.
The regional council manages the Bay of Plenty’s rivers and its outcomes include water quality and quantity and environmental protection. To help meet these outcomes the council uses data gathered from the aforementioned sites to monitor water quality.
“We hope publishing this monitoring data on LAWA will help grow awareness and understanding of water quality issues and the work we do to keep our waterways clean, free of pests and suitable for swimming,” council environmental scientist Paul Scholes says.
LAWA is New Zealand’s leading environmental monitoring and information website. It provides online access to information about the quality and availability of New Zealand’s natural resources. Since launching in 2014, it has become a trusted source of environmental information that allows people to discover more about the quality of rivers. The website also displays data on lake quality, rainfall and groundwater. It is a collaborative effort between regional councils, the Cawthron Institute and the Ministry for the Environment. www.lawa.org.nz