Talking on Water 1: Like no other

Each region has its own freshwater challenges.

Talking on Water cartoon 1.

Taranaki is both cursed and blessed with fast-flowing rivers fed by generous rainfall. At times they can threaten life and property. But they’re not prone to be choked with slime, weeds and algae. And our farmers don’t need irrigation on the scale seen in other regions.

Dairy cow numbers and fertiliser use have changed little over the past decade. The region hasn’t seen widespread dairy conversions or rapid urbanisation.

We need to find what works best for Taranaki.

Taranaki is different

Taranaki’s streams and rivers are generally short and fast-flowing, and thanks to our year-round rain they are flushed frequently.           

While our rivers are not large, we have lots of them – more than 500 named streams in the region. So when we need water, we have lots of choices

We simply don’t have long stretches of stagnating water, where the growth and spread of slime exceeds national guidelines, and weeds thrive and choke the water flow and thick algal blooms float day after day. Our rivers don’t have series of hydro dams that repeatedly impede flow.

Rainfall generally falls throughout the year and the region’s soils retain moisture. So while some irrigation occurs, there’s generally more water available and less demand than in other regions.

While the size of dairy herds has increased in Taranaki, the total number of dairy cattle has been stable over the past decade and our farms are not spreading into new catchments. So pressure on water quality is not spreading.

Talking on Water has been developed and produced by the Taranaki Regional Council to promote informed community discussion.