WE’VE just released the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan for public input.
Looking after our region’s water is the council’s number one priority, and this plan is a significant first step in that direction.
Water is our ‘‘natural advantage’’ here in Southland — it underpins our economy and is important for our fantastic lifestyle and recreation. If we want future generations to have that same lifestyle and opportunities, we need to look after our water carefully.
Our scientific monitoring is telling us that water quality is declining in some parts of Southland, and water quantity is also coming under increasing pressure.
The aim of the proposed plan is to help halt the decline before working towards improving water quality. This isn’t going to be a quick fix, it’s going to take time and an all-of-Southland effort to turn the boat around.
The focus of the proposed plan is on shifting all land users to good management practices, but urban stormwater and sewerage systems need to be up to scratch too.
Later in the year we’ll be starting discussions about setting limits for discharges to and extractions from waterways. Adopting good management practices will put land users in the best possible position for the limitsetting process.
What does all this mean for you? It means you need to be informed so you can be involved in the conversations and decisions about Southland’s water. It’s going to affect us all — town and country.
Check out the proposed Water and Land Plan and explanatory material on our updated website www.es.govt.nz. Let us know whether you think we’re taking the right actions and, if not, what you think would work. To stay informed you can sign up to our Water and Land e-newsletter on our website.
— Rob Phillips is the chief executive of