Faecal sources in Southland Rivers
A study looking at the sources of faecal pollution in Southland’s rivers has been published.
This jointly funded ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research) and Environment Southland study tested water samples across Southland, targeting rivers that were known to have high concentrations of E. coli. ESR used molecular and chemical techniques to establish the probable source of the faecal pollution in the rivers, in both dry and wet weather.
The study showed that ruminant pollution (cows, sheep, deer and goats) was present in approximately 50% of samples, with increased prevalence following rainfall. Faecal pollution from ruminants typically contains bacteria such as Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium and Salmonella, which are a concern for human health. Human faecal pollution was also detected at a limited number of locations across Southland.
Download the technical report - Sources of Pollution in the Aparima Freshwater Management Unit
Download the technical report - Sources of Pollution in the Mataura Freshwater Management Unit
Download the technical report - Sources of Pollution in the Oreti Freshwater Management Unit
Download the technical report - Sources of Pollution in the Waiau Freshwater Management Unit
Download the technical report - Environment Southland Recreational Shellfish-Gathering Water Monitoring Results: August 2016-2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.