Urban Catchment Project

Community Wellbeing
Healthy Ecosystems
Risks to our Catchment
The aim of the Urban Catchment Project is to improve the health of urban streams in Wānaka through education and community-led action, ultimately culminating in the development of an Urban Catchment Plan.

The initial phase of this project will ensure communities are informed about local water issues, engaged to preserve, and improve the health of urban streams and their surrounding ecosystems, take ownership of issues they can affect and support the delivery of actions that will have a positive impact for the waterways.

How will this be achieved?

Community-led urban catchment groups could be established through neighbour groups, school groups, clubs etc, or built around one or more specific environmental or sustainability goals. Our aim is to establish catchment groups with a diverse array of priorities and from locations that represent the whole Upper Clutha Catchment and involve all ages and all living groups. A key criteria is for each group to be passionate to restore, protect and preserve our local urban catchments. Each group will determine their own priorities and will be supported and facilitated by WAI Wānaka.

To get underway, WAI Wānaka will facilitate urban catchment forums and workshops within the community to explore existing needs, desires, areas of passion and environmental pinch points, to understand the scope of potential urban catchment groups and how to best support the community and uphold their needs during the process of choosing which catchment groups to prioritise.

To support the work of urban catchment groups, a literature review and wider research will be carried out to identify existing examples of community-led and cross-community collaboration on urban environmental restoration approaches both in New Zealand and overseas. This will capture ideas and resource materials that could be replicated in the Upper Clutha and help direct project activities.

This project has already generated interest within the community and holds a lot of potential as a flagship project for community-led environmental management across the Upper Clutha Catchment. Ideas for catchment group activities include citizen science, restoration, community engagement, education, research and community/developer collaborations, just to name a few.

By working together, we empower communities to understand their water, their environment, and their impact