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About the project

Water and Land 2020 & Beyond is an Environment Southland project to maintain and improve Southland’s freshwater (including rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater). This project is in partnership with Ngai Tahu ki Murihiku and aims to maintain and improve Southland’s water quality, ultimately helping the Southland community achieve its goals for our region’s water.

Water is vital to our lives as it impacts on what we drink, where we play and the work we do. Already, we are seeing signs that our rivers and coastal environments are becoming compromised. Groundwater is also under pressure with drinking water standards breached in some areas.

We need to change how we look after water in a way that sustains our own ability to live (eg safe drinking water for people and stock), preserves our environment and maintains cultural values.

To achieve this, we need to set ‘limits’ for our region’s catchments. This means protecting:

  • Water quality – by limiting contaminants that can be discharged into waterways (eg nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, sediment, faecal contamination)
  • Water quantity – by limiting on how much water can be removed (extracted) from a freshwater body, such as a river or aquifer