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Published: 2001-03-28 00:00:00

Just under $3 million will be needed over the next 10 years to carry out new soil conservation, flood protection and river management work considered essential in Environment Waikato’s Lake Taupo management zone.

The scope of the work and attendant costs have been outlined at a meeting of the Lower Waikato Liaison Sub-committee by Project Watershed staff.

Project Watershed is a two year programme aimed at developing a catchment-wide approach to river management and funding, based on six separate management zones.
The Lake Taupo zone encompasses the lake above the control gates, and all the tributaries leading into it. While significant soil conservation work has been carried out in the zone over the past 30 years, there were still some areas that could benefit from treatment, the meeting was told.

Environment Waikato staff have identified three priority areas for soil conservation work in the Lake Taupo Zone:

  • Western Bay catchments (where not already protected).
  • Lower Kuratau River.
  • Opepe/Mangamutu.

It is estimated that 16,155 hectares is at risk of severe erosion within the Lake Taupo zone, with a further 19,870 hectares consider a moderate risk. Just over 130 kilometres of stream bank is considered to be an existing or potential erosion problem.

Riparian protection proposals are for fencing 90km of stream bank ($387,000), riparian planting of 72 km ($441,000) and providing alternative water supplies over 30 km ($15,000). Lake shore works are expected to cost a further $20,000.

River management initiatives expected to cost around $25,000 per year will see work carried out in the Waitahanui, Hinemaiaia, Waimarino, Waiotak, Tokaanu, Waihi and Waimatai, Omori and Kuratau.

Comprehensive river management works have been recommended for the Lower Tongariro and Lower Tauranga Taupo Rivers at a cost of around $2 million. Flood protection stop banking in the two rivers is expected to cost $72,000.

Project Watershed staff are currently carrying out an informal consultation programme to identify an acceptable level of work to be included in a draft management plan for the whole Waikato catchment that will be put out for formal consultation in June.

Environment Waikato chairman Neil Clarke says if local people have an early input then the draft plan is more likely to match their community’s expectations.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.