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.
As part of the Southland Science Programme, the land use inputs project is investigating what happens on the land – specifically how much nutrient is being applied and how much escapes to waterways. In particular this project will look at contaminant sources and answer what, where and how contaminants are entering waterways from the land. This project will also investigate land use or land management practices and the benefit of mitigation measures.
Visit the Southland Science Programme page for more information on this project, updates on how it is progressing, reports and results.
Southland has a network of sites across Southland that measure soil
moisture, rainfall and soil temperature. This information is
particularly useful in assisting farmers to manage their irrigation
Several factors will influence their decision on when and how
to irrigate. From an environmental perspective the weather, pasture
growth and application rate are critical factors in mitigating
environmental effects. In order to help dairy farmers decide whether
soil conditions are suitable for effluent disposal, Environment
Southland has installed a number of sites across the region in a range
of soil types and climates. Data is updated to the website twice a day.
View our soil monitoring map on our mapping service, Beacon.
The soil information maps are based on the Topoclimate Survey of Southland
and South Otago, which covered approximately 825,000 hectares of the
intensively farmed land of the region. The results of the survey were
published as a series of 36 district maps at a scale of 1:50,000. This
scale is capable of identifying significant soil variations at the farm
level, which is sufficient for most land users. It is more detailed than
any previous surveys of Southland, although some intensive surveys have
been carried out previously on small portions of the region.
View our topoclimate map on our mapping service, Beacon.