New PCE reports on water quality released

Two new reports on water quality have just been released by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

One of them is an update from a 2013 report: Water quality in New Zealand: Land use and nutrient pollution, which looked at the relationship between land use and two nutrient pollutants – nitrogen and phosphorus. A clear correlation was revealed between large-scale land use change to dairy farming and increases in the nitrogen stress on waterways. As a result of this, water quality has declined in many places. This new report summarises reactions to the original report and presents new information on land use that was not available in 2013.  This article article provides a good explanation of the report.

The second report is an examination of the 2014 National Policy Statement and has provided some recommendations to improve the effectiveness and clarity of the Government’s fresh water policy. A set of frequently asked questions provides a simple rundown on the contents of the report.

Let’s hope these reports will bring us a step forward in improving the state of our freshwater.