In March 2024 we need to ask for cleaner river water

Graph showing poor water quality at Waikawa Footbridge this season.

Many locals are justifiably upset about the poor ratings on the Traffic Light System for the quality of water in our river by the footbridge. Our long-term grade:

Poor – The estimated risk of Campylobacter infection has a >5% occurrence, at least 5% of the time.

I have a spreadsheet named lawa_recreationalwaterquality_monitoringdata_2017–23_20oct2023 that someone at LAWA or HRC sent me a while ago. It shows that between 06 November 2017 and 24 April 2023 over 147 measurements our score was: 62 green; 47 orange; 38 red.

Pie graph shows water quality is OK less than half the time.

Horizons Regional Council are the organisation with overview and responsibility for the water in the Waikawa River. Coming up on 22 March 2024 is consultation on the Horizons Regional Council Long-term Plan. This is our opportunity as a community to ask Horizons Regional Council to make it a priority to improve the quality of water in the Waikawa River at the Footbridge. I have highlighted below two important paragraphs from their press release that make it clear we need to tell HRC what we want.

The Long-term Plan (LTP) is Horizons’ plan for council’s activities, including how it will ensure sustainable use of the region’s natural resources, for the next ten years – and how it proposes to rate for it. …

“Following a review of Council’s work programmes and robust discussions over the past year, Council has included a proposed average rate increase of 12.9 per cent for 2024-25, 12.5 per cent for 2025-26, and 9.2 per cent for 2026-27.

“These proposed increases, and the supporting information that provides the details behind our work, are planned to be put out for community consultation on 22 March. …

“The consultation that we’ll undertake in March will be the starting point for the conversation with our communities. …

“I encourage our communities to stay tuned for more information about the consultation period and to share their thoughts with us about how we spend their rates. …

Source: Indication given on direction for Horizons Region for the next ten years - Horizons Regional Council.

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