9.1 Catchment Oversight
Catchment oversight has three major activities:
- Liaison Subcommittee
Liaison subcommittees have been established to provide local input to Project Watershed, and ensure that the needs of the communities are effectively reflected in the work programmes developed by Environment Waikato. Each committee is made up of a variety of members such as farmers, government agency representatives, staff and councillors of territorial authorities. They offer an invaluable depth of knowledge not only about the land, rivers and streams of each management zone but also of the people.
Environment Waikato considers it very important that the subcommittees continue in the future. They are likely to meet annually or biannually to confirm work programmes, ensure that operational works carried out in the area are meeting expectations and to make Environment Waikato aware of new issues that may be developing in the zone.
- Liaising with other authorities
The responsibility for undertaking flood protection and river control works in the Project Watershed area has traditionally been shared amongst a number of territorial authorities and Environment Waikato. It is important that Environment Waikato maintains links with authorities and other agencies (such as the Department of Conservation and Transit NZ). This will assist in ensuring that actions taken by all organisations, which may affect the catchment, are as consistent as possible with the principles of good catchment management.
- Maintaining a general awareness of the catchment and any issues that may affect its balance
It is preferable to respond proactively to changes in the catchment, rather than dealing with the consequences later on when they may be far more expensive. To enable this proactive response, Environment Waikato requires more information about what is actually happening in the catchment in terms of changing land use, major resource users, and erosion and river processes. There is a need to respond to this in a more integrated way than currently occurs because of the systemic nature of the catchment and the strong interrelationships between soil conservation, river management and flood protection.
A monitoring programme will provide an overview of the condition of the catchment and river system.