Monitoring the effectiveness of interventions and mitigation actions on freshwater improvement
Project Details Ngā taipitopito
Collaborators Ngā haumi
AgResearch | Aquanet Consulting | Auckland Council | Bay of Plenty Regional Council | Bridger Consulting | Cawthron Institute | DairyNZ | GNS Science | Griffith University | Lincoln University | Ministry for the Environment | Ngati Raukawa | Pokaiwhenua Catchment Board | Waikato Regional Council | Waikato River Authority
Many people are taking action to improve freshwater quality through activities such as stream fencing and planting, wetland restoration, and changes in farming practices.
Monitoring the collective effect of these activities on freshwater health has not been standard practice in New Zealand – but it is now urgently required. Government regulations introduced in 2020 require action to be taken to improve freshwater where it is degraded, and task regional councils with monitoring both the mitigation actions and their freshwater outcomes.
Our current freshwater monitoring methods and networks give us information on the health of freshwater over time, but don’t establish cause-and-effect relationships – how improvement actions reduce contaminant loads or improve ecological health, for example. This programme is developing a toolkit to help all groups involved in freshwater improvement actions design monitoring programmes that will measure the success of actions to restore freshwater, and to help them select appropriate monitoring technologies that enable early detection of improvement.
Over time, these monitoring programmes will give people taking action on the ground information on successes and failures of past actions, helping them prioritise the most effective actions to improve freshwater quality, so our rivers more quickly return to good health.