Understanding your catchment’s water
Lifting farmer and community awareness, engagement and building capability through a journey of stream walks and water testing.
An opportunity to learn about the local Catchment, and key places within the catchment through the lens of ecological, cultural and recreational health of waterways.
Spark interest and provide hands-on examples of opportunities for the group to improve their waterways, and better understand current state and change.
Identify interest and needs for the group, and plan next steps for supporting them.
Introduction/Whakataki: 30mins – 1hour
Indoor setting with group – outline for the day, introduction to freshwater ecosystems, biodiversity, catchments, understanding ecological health of a waterway (content tailored to the group).
Stream walk: 2 – 6 hours
Traveling from top to bottom of the catchment (where access allows), walk a variety of reaches within the catchment to get a first hand understanding of where the waterway flows, the landscape it travels through, potential human impacts and the state of the waterway as it
progresses. This may be done via vehicle or on foot or a combination of both. Take habitat, biodiversity and water quality measurements to get an initial snapshot of the ecological health at each site:
- Visual habitat assessments, nutrient sampling (conductivity, nitrate, phosphate), invertebrates, eDNA
- Fish surveys
Chemical Water Testing
Purpose: Taking stock of the water quality in your catchment.
Collect water samples and have these tested in the laboratory for Nitrate-N, Total N, Total P, DRP, Turbidity and E. coli.
The sampling will target a dry weather and a wet weather sampling event in both the winter/early spring and again in the summer. This will help to understand the widest range of stressful conditions in the catchment.
This programme allows for 5-6 sampling sites per catchment and 4 sampling rounds.
A workshop will be offered to help understand the numbers after the four sampling rounds have been completed.
This information will inform site selection for an ongoing water quality monitoring plan (choosing meaningful sampling sites).
A freshwater technician is available to support groups with water testing.