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We are producing a range of tools for policy makers, industry bodies and land managers to help transition to mosaics of land use that are more healthy, resilient and prosperous than today

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Method
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Guidance
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Model of nitrogen and phosphorus in freshwater eutrophication for LCA

Fate Factors (FFs) for use in life-cycle analysis (PCA) were developed for both dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP), distinguishing emissions from soil and emissions to freshwater. The use of these FFs, in conjunction with a spatially explicit inventory of DIN and DIP emissions, improves the environmental relevance and discriminatory power of the assessment of freshwater eutrophication impacts for LCA applications internationally.
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Grid‐based sediment tracing approach to determine sediment sources

This grid‐based sediment tracing technique improves the precision of source contribution estimates and enhances the granularity of sediment source maps. This technique provides a greater spatial resolution of the sediment sources by assigning sediment contributions into grid sources rather than area‐specific source types.

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Potential groundwater recharge zones across New Zealand

Maps of the potential groundwater recharge zones across New Zealand (500m x 500m resolution), which can be used to identify areas of high nutrient leaching in zones where high groundwater recharge potential exists.

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Event-based Model of Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport

Soil conservation over large areas is expensive and needs to be targeted to obtain maximum benefit for the least cost. Cascade of Soil Erosion research has outlined an event-based model of soil erosion and sediment transport at the catchment scale.

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Multi-criteria decision-making framework

This land-use assessment framework has been developed by Next Generation Systems to explore opportunities for adopting more suitable land use and to identify gaps in knowledge. It uses multi-criteria decision-making to simultaneously consider multiple domains, where selection of best alternatives is highly complex, context-specific and deeply personal. Please email Alan Renwick to discuss using the tool.

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Model of Soil Erosion

A model of soil erosion developed for the Manawatū-Wanganui by Cascade of Soil Erosion researchers can be parameterised with local data, then used in spreadsheet form to evaluate the impact of changes to land use and management on the sediment yield of catchments, and help regional councils plan cost-effective soil conservation work projects of varying size and complexity.

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Method for Estimating Improvement in Water Clarity

Cascade of Soil Erosion research developed a method for estimating the improvement in water clarity when soil conservation is practiced.

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Method to Optimise Catchment Management Actions for Water Quality

Land Use Suitability research has developed a method to identify the most appropriate management actions for aquatic ecosystems. This method provides a valuable decision support strategy to optimise catchment management actions toward a water quality objective.

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SDF Curves for Drought in New Zealand

Sources and Flows research modelled drought duration-severity distribution and frequency to generate SDF curves for six locations in different climatic regions. Modelling of soil drainage at these sites indicated 35% to 80% more drainage peaks than expected, suggesting better monitoring of soil moisture and scheduling of irrigation is required. The SDF curves provide a comprehensive understanding of occurrence and duration of dry conditions, and can be a useful tool for developing strategies for water management.

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Methodology for Measuring Dissolved Neon

Measuring Groundwater Denitrification research has developed and proven a methodology for measuring dissolved neon which, in combination with argon and nitrogen measurements, can be to quantify excess nitrogen in groundwater. Measurement of ‘excess N2’ is the most promising method for directly measuring denitrification that has occurred in an aquifer.

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Potential Groundwater Recharge Zones in New Zealand

Sources and Flows research identified 5 potential groundwater recharge zones across New Zealand. Knowledge of groundwater recharge potential is required for sustainable groundwater management, including the assessment of vulnerability to contamination. The maps can be used to identify areas of high nutrient leaching in zones where high groundwater recharge potential exists (regions with large lakes and in the lower elevation plains).

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Towards a Physiographic Map: Information for Regional Councils

Physiographic Environments of New Zealand research is developing a cost-effective technique to measure and map (as an integrated physiographic layer) how features of the natural landscape lead to variation in water composition, and hence quality. A web-based map is being co-developed with a wide range of collaborators. So far 7 regional and district councils are sharing data and collaborating to develop and apply the physiographic approach to their regions. This document contains information for interested regional councils.

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Guidance for Use of FDE on Free-Draining Soils

Phosphorus Best Practice research found that current practice and regional rules for the application of farm dairy effluent (FDE) to stony free-draining soil under irrigation were not sufficient to prevent phosphorus losses. Regional government and industry bodies can use these results to strengthen guidelines and regulations, particularly regarding the use of FDE on stony free-draining soils with low capacity to absorb P, such as those common in the Canterbury region, in order to meet community and government expectations.

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Guidance on Stock Exclusion from Smaller Streams

Assessing Contaminants with Stream Order research discovered that fencing only large streams to exclude stock has less effect on freshwater quality than expected. Small, steeply sloping streams contribute, on average, 77% of the load of freshwater contaminants. To substantially reduce contaminant losses, stock should be excluded from small, steeply sloping streams. This research can be used by local government to determine policy to improve the quality of fresh water.

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Aligned Land Use Tools

Our research supports the use of these tools, which are aligned to the Our Land and Water mission.

  • All
  • Agribusiness
  • Catchment Groups
  • Central Government
  • Citizens
  • Dairy Farmers
  • Farmers
  • Growers
  • Hapū
  • Industry Bodies
  • Iwi
  • Land Owners
  • Māori Land Owners
  • Regional Councils
  • Researchers
  • Rural Professionals
  • Scientists
  • Students
  • Whānau

Cultural Health Index

The Cultural Health Index (CHI) was developed by Māori to monitor change in streams and rivers, with adaptations seeing it used to measure change in coastal areas, kauri systems, estuaries, wetlands, marine ecosystems and takiwa (tribal regional) reporting. Given the adapability of this tool it has potential for use in the Māori agribusiness sector. 

Note that views on appropriate tools will vary between rohe and mana whenua, and tools are not a substitute for collaboration and relationship building with local whānau and hapū.

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Mauri Compass Tool

The Mauri Compass is an environmental tool to understand the mauri of a waterbody and its interconnected people, using 12 compass points (parameters). The 4 compass points of tangata whenua, wairua, mahinga kai, and cultural can only be assigned by tangata whenua. The other 8 compass points draw on western science

Note that views on appropriate tools will vary between rohe and mana whenua, and tools are not a substitute for collaboration and relationship building with local whānau and hapū.

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LUCI

LUCI is an ecosystem services modelling tool which illustrates the impacts of land use on various ecosystem services. It compares the current services provided by the landscape with estimates of their potential capability, to identify areas where land use change might be beneficial. It isn’t calibrated for New Zealand.

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Taikura Nuku

A land-use decision support tool developed by Te Tumu Paeroa that combines datasets to gain insight into how Māori land can operate at highest and best use. Our Land Use Suitability researchers are augmenting this with land-use suitability data.

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Overseer

Overseer enables farmers and growers to improve nutrient use on farms, delivering better environmental outcomes.

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CLUES

NIWA’s Catchment Land Use for Environmental Sustainability (CLUES) model is a GIS-based modelling system that assesses the effects of land use change on water quality and socio-economic indicators. CLUES allows users to create both land use and farm practice change scenarios (stocking rates, mitigation), providing results in map and tabular displays. NIWA can provide training.

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MitAgator

Built on a detailed farm map, MitAgator’s software gives a spatial view of where contaminant losses are occurring and identifies critical source areas. This allows mitigation scenarios to be validated and targeted more precisely, improving their cost-effectiveness.

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Farm Environment Plans

Widely recognised as good business practice, Farm Environment Plans area visible indication of sustainable activity on farm. They are likely to become compulsory for all farms over time. Beef and Lamb NZ has useful templates for all farming systems.

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CSIRO Adopt

ADOPT – the Adoption & Diffusion Outcome Prediction Tool – is an online tool that predicts farmer uptake of new agricultural practices and innovations. It estimates time to near-peak adoption level (99%) within target farmer populations.

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