Water quality of Ashburton high-country lakes declining

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 28, 2021 |

A new scientific report commissioned by Environment Canterbury has highlighted declining water quality in the Ashburton high-country lakes.

The report has provided information on the nutrient reductions required to achieve water quality targets set in the Land and Water Regional Plan.

The conclusions by the Cawthron Institute found that significant reductions in nutrient loads will be required to preserve water quality in the high-country lakes studied.

The Ashburton lakes studied were Heron, Emily, Clearwater, Camp, Emma, Denny and Māori Lakes.

The lakes are sensitive to nutrient inputs from a number of sources, including land use, recreation amenity and birdlife.

Environment Canterbury Director of Science Dr Tim Davie said, “We know how special the Ashburton Lakes are to the people of Canterbury and it’s clear from the report that the water quality of these lakes is in a delicate state.

“All of the lakes studied require a significant reduction in nutrients to meet the Land and Water Regional Plan limits.”

“Some of the lakes are at risk of ‘flipping’, which means entering a long-term turbid, algal-rich, degraded state, from which lakes usually do not recover easily.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?