Alice Trevelyan and Dr Eloise Ryan from Waikato Regional Council explain how our everyday activities can impact water quality.
Questions for discussion:
- How many activities do Alice and Eloise name?
- Can you name other activities that impact water quality?
Everyday activities will impact water quality, so it could be a farming activity, it could be something in an urban setting or it could be as simple as an extreme weather event. So everyday life is consistently impacting upon water quality.
In the Waikato region, we have many different land uses, from forestry – when forests are cut down, that leaves the earth quite bare and a lot of sediment can enter our waterways and negatively impact them. We obviously have a lot of intensive farming and agriculture. So whatever happens on the land enters the water. And with things like farming, you can get increased levels of bacteria and sediment and nutrients. So every time it rains, that can wash into our waterways. Also in the Waikato region, we have large urban centres – towns and cities – and they have different impacts on waterways as well. You can get metals like copper and zinc wash off your cars, and those go into our stormwater and into our rivers and streams, or urban activities – for example, people washing their cars on concrete and detergents can enter our streams – or using lawn fertilisers. So every land use has an impact on our waterways.
Waikato Regional Council monitors air, water and soil quality across the region, and then we make policy and plans to regulate that to make sure that the environment does not go downhill. And then we also provide people with the opportunity and educational resources to improve or restore those, and we work with the community, landowners, iwi, schools to provide education and resources to help people so that those resources are managed accordingly.
Dr Eloise Ryan
Waikato Regional Council
Sandra and Rod McKinnon
AS Wilcox & Sons Limited
Hannah, Jess and Sam, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls
Logging footage, ACME Manufacturing, Inc. Released under CC BY 3.0
Car washing footage, Sandy Austin. Released under CC BY 3.0
Lawn fertilising footage, University of Wyoming Extension. Released under CC BY 3.0
This video has been developed in partnership with the Waikato Regional Council as part of the Rivers and Us resource.