Hurunui River health and phosphorus limits key focuses for zone committee

The Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee will meet on Monday, 20 July, in Amberley for its monthly water management meeting.

The meeting will begin with an update from the Regional Committee, which considers issues of regional significance. This will be followed by an update from dryland farmers.

The committee will then hear from a local farmer whose well went dry near the Waitohi River over the summer.

A key focus of the meeting will be a presentation from Environment Canterbury on setting and monitoring Phosphorus limits, and the health of the Hurunui River. The Hurunui Waiau Rivers Regional Plan sets nitrogen and phosphorus limits for Hurunui River. These phosphorus limits have been exceeded, triggering stricter rules around land-use change.

There have been discussions around whether the right indicators are being used as the water quality in the river is getting worse. Recent analysis indicates neither the periphyton (algal slimes in the river) nor the phosphorus levels in the Hurunui River have been trending up or down. 

A local farmer, with the support of the committee, has suggested using high-nitrate water from St Leonards Drain as irrigation water, thereby reducing the amount of nitrogen to the Hurunui River. The committee will discuss the summary report of this Nitrogen recycling from St Leonards Drain Stage 1 project.

The meeting will finish with an update from Environment Canterbury on progress towards delivering the zone committee’s priority water management outcomes.

The Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee is a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and Hurunui District Council. It includes five community members, two Rūnanga representatives, and one each from Hurunui District Council and Environment Canterbury.

Meeting information

Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee meeting

3:00pm, Monday, 20 July 2015

Council Chambers, Hurunui District Council, Amberley

For a copy of the agenda visit the Hurunui Waiau committee page.