22 March 2018

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder is calling for all Bay of Plenty residents to consider their role in caring for water this World Water Day, 22 March.

“Everyone has a role to play in caring for the water that sustains us; from fixing leaks, and using drains only for rain, to making good choices about infrastructure investment, land use, and business practices.

The effects of past land-use change, urban and farm run-off remain a risk, but overall the region’s water quality and supply is in good shape by national standards.  Untreated discharges to water have been illegal for a long time now, and we have a lot of pro-active work underway to clean-up waterways, prevent pollution, and reduce land run-off,” Chairman Leeder said.

Chairman Leeder reaffirmed his Council’s commitment to identifying and delivering on community expectations for water management at a Freshwater Rescue Forum hosted by Envirohub in Tauranga earlier this week.

Regional Council staff also helped school children explore their impacts on water at an Enviroschools Energiser event in Te Puke on Tuesday, and are assisting with a riparian management workshop at the Dairy Women’s Network Conference in Rotorua, and a stream clean-up at Papamoa today.

Chairman Leeder said that Regional Council has been supporting landowners to improve riparian management for many years, and is breaking new ground with the Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management rules it notified last year.

“We’ve got more work to do on fencing, planting, wetland restoration and other on-ground action, but most of the easy wins are already being delivered. The emerging water management challenges and regulatory framework we’re now dealing with are incredibly complex. Investment in good science, modelling and stakeholder engagement, along with public infrastructure upgrades, will be crucial to securing clean waterways we can all be proud of in the long term.

Regional Council has allocated a 2018/19 budget of $46m for water management work in its Long Term Plan 2018-28 consultation document which is due for adoption by 30 June. That budget is spread across a range of on-ground action, science, planning, and policy work, to improve and protect the water in local rivers, streams, lakes and underground aquifers.

People can find out more about World Water Day and subscribe to updates about Regional Council’s water work at www.boprc.govt.nz/freshwaterfutures

Additional information

  • World Water Day is a United Nations special observance day held on 22 March each year. See http://worldwaterday.org for details.
  • The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.
  • Planting waterway margins, steep slopes, and restoring wetlands are just some of the nature-based solutions Regional Council is working on with landowners to help protect and improve the health of the region’s waterways, wildlife, local communities and their livelihoods.

Kaituna River (1)