This update is to let you know what is being done and what can be done to enhance the water quality for Lake Ōkāreka.
What is being done?
A report was done back in 2012 to find out the nutrient reductions needed to reach and sustain the desired water quality level for Lake Ōkāreka. Professor David Hamilton from the University of Waikato is doing more work to establish nutrient inputs to the lake. The results of that work will give us an idea of what more we might need to do, and will be presented to the community. (Watch this space for times and dates).
What can be done?
Land use change
For the next three years, Regional Council has budgeted over $600,000 per year to work with landowners to reduce nutrients and improve water quality for Lake Ōkāreka. If you own a large property in the catchment and would like to make land use or land management change that has the potential for reducing nutrient input to the lake phone us on 0800 884 880.
This coming year the Regional Council is also looking at commencing a project to audit Rule 11 benchmarks for properties that have them in the catchment. Establishing current nutrient loss on these properties will also help establish further land use change requirements.
Last year a fly over of the Lake Ōkāreka catchment was done to capture the amount of gorse on the land. Subsidies are available from 1st July to assist landowners with conversion. Over the next year we will use the aerial photography to approach landowners to see if they are interested. If you have gorse on your property that you want help to control or return to trees phone us on 0800 884 880.
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Rotorua Catchments Manager
Bay of Plenty Regional Council