Science summaries

​Mitigating on-farm losses and land use change

Continuing intensification of agricultural land, particularly land use conversion from traditional sheep and beef to dairy farming and increasing production on existing dairy farms, is putting additional pressure on Southland’s waterways.

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Prioritising action for Southland’s water quality issues

Water is important to all of our community – Environment Southland is responding to the challenges of managing water through a long-term project, Water and Land 2020 & Beyond.

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Contamination of fish and cockles in rivers and estuaries

Southland is known for its trout fishing and takes pride in its mahinga kai. However, many of our rivers and estuaries are becoming increasingly contaminated by heavy metals and pesticides.

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Groundwater and nitrate movement

Groundwater provides an important source of drinking water for people and livestock in Southland. However, what we do on top of the land (land use) can affect the quality of the groundwater sitting below.

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Land Use Change - Agriculture

Southland was colonised relatively early in New Zealand’s history and has undergone a dramatic change in vegetation cover over the past 150 years. Download the factsheet to read more​ about this change.

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Land Use Change – Environmental Impacts

Poor water quality in lowland streams and rivers in Southland has been linked to the rapid intensification of land use. Scientific studies have shown that soil and water quality is strongly linked to land use and land management practices.

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Land Use Change – Indigenous Vegetation

Southland is home to a diverse range of habitat types, ranging from forests to wetlands. However, what we see today is just a fraction of what once covered Southland.

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Monitoring Rivers and Beaches for Faecal Contaminants

Many of us enjoy using Southland’s rivers and beaches over the summer months. Find out more about our monitoring programme, results and tips to stay safe and where to swim in this factsheet.

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Monitoring Faecal Contaminants in Southland’s Rivers & Streams

Faecal contamination of Southland’s rivers and streams poses health risks for livestock and people. To find out more about the faecal contamination on our rivers and streams we recently undertook a pilot study with a new faecal testing tool which allows us to identify specific sources of contamination.

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Page reviewed: 19 May 2016 11:54am