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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.1 Water Resources » 3.1.1 Issue

3.1.1 Issue

The following aspects of the issue apply to all activities throughout the Plan:

  1. Point source discharges into water bodies can cause deterioration in water quality and the values for which the water body is being managed.
  2. The cumulative effects of non-point source discharges have a significant adverse effect on the water quality of many water bodies in the Region, particularly:
    1. intensification of land use increases nutrients entering water bodies from diffuse sources, causing nuisance plant growth and poor water clarity
    2. unrestricted stock access to water bodies may case nutrient enrichment and high suspended sediment loads in water bodies
    3. soil disturbance may cause high suspended sediment loads in water bodies
    4. contaminated ground water, seeps and springs flowing to surface water bodies and high levels of phosphorus, nitrogen and faecal coliforms adversely affect contact recreation uses of lowland rivers and lakes in Hauraki and the lower Waikato River and it tributaries
    5. ground water quality has degraded due to elevated levels of some contaminants in vulnerable shallow aquifers where land is intensively used, such as in the Hamilton Basin and Pukekohe areas
    6. taking and impounding of water can have cumulative effects and can reduce water quality and quantity.
  3. Increasing demand by people and communities to be able to use water in areas where demand exceeds, or is likely to exceed, supply reduces the range of foreseeable uses of that water.
  4. The ability of people and communities to provide for their needs may be limited by inefficient use of the finite water resources.
  5. Modification of flow regimes through water takes, damming and diversion can adversely affect water bodies, particularly:
    1. instream ecological/biological values
    2. recreational values
    3. potential uses of water resource
    4. reduced water quality and quantity.
  6. Damage to the coastal environment, surface water bodies and their margins (including caves) by land use activities, destruction of vegetation, discharges, bank erosion, channelisation structures, modification of flow regimes and changes in water or bed level can:
    1. reduce instream ecological values
    2. lead to an overall reduction in natural character of water bodies and their margins.
  7. Contamination of both spiritual and physical attributes of water quality, depletion of flows and other disruption to water bodies has the potential to adversely affect the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified taonga, the freshwater fishery and flora and fauna in and on the margins of water bodies.
  8. The mauri of water can be degraded by changes to flow regimes, discharges of point and nonpoint source contaminants, over abstraction, drilling and drainage of wetlands. These changes can adversely affect the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with water and their taonga, such as waahi tapu, and native flora and fauna that have customary and traditional uses that are in or on the margins of water bodies.
  9. The mauri of water is degraded by contaminants and over abstraction and in turn has negative impacts on the mana of Kaitiaki.
  10. Deep ground water takes can cause drawdown effects that affect the ability of other users to access the resource, and may reduce the sustainable yield of the resource.
  11. Shallow ground water takes can cause adverse effects on surface water by reducing base flow, water quality and water levels in wetlands and lakes.
  12. Drainage, surface and ground water takes and land use activities in and around wetlands and cave systems can adversely affect their water levels leading to:
    1. reduction of their extent or threatening their continued existence
    2. loss of their natural character.
  13. Not enabling the use and development of water resources in the Region may compromise the ability of people and communities to provide for their social, cultural and economic wellbeing and for their health and safety.

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