Dairy farmers’ environmental work helping to improve water quality outcomes
Manawatu and Rangitikei dairy farmers deserve a big pat on the back for the actions they are taking to support the environment.
In-stream monitoring results for rivers within the Manawatu-Whanganui region showing improving trends were presented by Horizons Regional Council (Horizons) at a recent water quality update to local farmers and other stakeholders.
The event was hosted by DairyNZ, with Horizons water quality expert – freshwater and partnerships manager Logan Brown presenting the results for both the Manawatu and Rangitikei river catchments.
DairyNZ catchment engagement leader Adam Duker says it’s great the results are independent, and have been verified through Horizons’ monitoring programme. Horizons monitoring over the last 10 years for these rivers includes both actual sampling of the river water, and an assessment of the in-stream habitat.
Adam says a big part of the water quality improvements are due to the actions of dairy farmers. “Dairy farmers should feel good about this and they should be encouraged – the trends are heading in the right direction.
“Actions taken to protect the environment can take over 10 years to show through in water quality trends, so it’s great to see the work farmers have been doing for the environment over the past 10 years is now coming through in this analysis.”
Even more work is being done that will keep driving further improvement. Adam says other sources also contribute to water quality including sheep and beef farming, towns and industry. This emphasises the need for a collaborative approach and solutions to continue to improve water quality.
“All sectors, both rural and urban, play a role in the improvement of water quality.”
Representatives who attended the presentation included dairy farmers, sheep and beef farmers, rural professionals and community representatives (including district and regional councillors).
The updates help farmers understand the whole picture and how they contribute to environmental health.
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