Developing sediment models to enable land managers, water users, communities and iwi to set sediment-related water quality targets
Project Details Ngā taipitopito
Collaborators Ngā haumi
Soil erosion and too much sediment in rivers can result in major environmental problems. The impact of sediment loads on freshwater attributes such as water clarity, and how this affects freshwater ecology, is not fully understood.
This research has highlighted which sources of sediment have the most important role in determining how much suspended sediment ends up in a river. It has shown that the amount of sediment in rivers with headwaters (first-order catchments) is controlled by the maximum water flow during a storm event.
Cascade of Soil Erosion researchers have developed a model that can be used by regional councils to evaluate the impact of changes to land use and management on the sediment yield of catchments, and help plan soil conservation works.
This modelling will help to target the estimated $120 million expenditure needed to deal with erosion and sediment issues across New Zealand each year.