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.
Soil maps and information
Environment 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 programme.
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 soil-classification map on our mapping service, Beacon.
Land use change report summaries
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 Land Use Change - Agriculture factsheet to read more about this change.
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. Download the Land Use Change - Environmental Impacts factsheet to read more about this linkage.
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. Download the Land Use Change - Indigenous Vegetation factsheet to learn more.
- Report - Assessment of Farm Mitigation Options and Land Use Change on Catchment Nutrient Contamination Loads in the Southland Region - March 2014 (PDF, 892.5KB)
- Report - Contribution of on-site wastewater disposal to cumulative regional nutrient loadings - July 2014 (PDF, 1.9MB)
- Report - Environmental Effects of Activities within the Riparian Zone (PDF, 1.4MB)
- Report - Factors Affecting Contaminant Loss in Overland Flow (PDF, 1.1MB)
- Report - Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sediment losses from rural land uses in Southland - August 2013 (PDF, 808.4KB)
- Report - Overseer Comparison Wintering Report -September 2013 (PDF, 347.5KB)
- Report - Seasonality Report - 2014 (PDF, 1.9MB)
- Report - Seasonality Report - Appendix 1 (PDF, 227.2KB)
- Report - Seasonality Report - Appendix 2 (PDF, 335.4KB)
- Report - Soil Quality and Stability Programme for Southland (PDF, 1.1MB)
- Report - Spatial analysis of winter forage cropping in Southland and the implications for water quality management(PDF, 3.6MB)
- Report - The impacts of animal wintering on water and Soil Quality (PDF, 3.6MB)
- Report - The Influence of Soil Drainage Characteristics on contaminant leakage risk associated with the land application of dairy effluent - 2009 (PDF, 1MB)
- Report - Winter Livestock Forage Map - Southland Region - 2014 (PDF, 4.5MB)