Monitoring background and interpretation
Auckland Council’s State of the Environment (SoE) monitoring programme has been building a record of Auckland’s environment for more than 25 years. This information is critical to the effective management of Auckland’s natural environment, after all, you
can’t manage what you don’t monitor.
The monitoring programme shows there is a strong relationship between the health of rivers and the type of land cover in the surrounding catchment. Rivers that drain through forested catchments (particularly native forests) typically have excellent water quality and ecology, while rivers that drain from urban catchments typically have poor water quality and ecology.
The health of Howick’s rivers is considered to be impaired. Urban development has led to a high level of impervious surface in the area, which prevents rainfall from soaking into the ground. This has follow-on effects for rivers in the area leading to high water temperatures, changes to the natural flow patterns and increased pollution from contaminated stormwater.
Wai Care Howick
Wai Care is a water quality education, monitoring and action programme managed by Auckland Council, for schools and community groups in the Auckland region.
The programme aims to educate people about freshwater issues and encourage and facilitate action in the local community, from water quality monitoring to streamside planting and litter clean-ups.
The following table shows achievements of the Wai Care Programme in Howick during the 2013/2014 financial year.
During 2013/2014, Mission Heights Junior School Wai Care students ran a ‘Stream Focus Day’ for their school. The group has since been joined by other classes in the school to investigate water quality in two local catchments.
In 2013/2014, Macleans College Wai Care group, which comprises 270 year 9 students, developed a large restoration project in partnership with Parks South and formed a new school Enviro-group.
For more information on Wai Care, or to view site data for your area, go to www.waicare.org.nz or call 09 301 0101 and ask for Wai Care.