With the help of WAI Wānaka, the farmers in the basin are involved in a water testing programme to better understand what impact farming practices have on the waterways.
They are testing on a quarterly basis and test for Total Nitrogen, Ammoniacal Nitrogen, Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus, Sediment and E-coli. These are measured against the ORC water standards for the district. By securing reliable data, farmers will be able to achieve the desired outcomes for freshwater quality and ecosystems. Understanding what to test for, what the results mean and how to respond is an important part of the process.
There are three things farmers and other stewards of land would like to understand so that their water testing is successful:
- Understanding what to test for, where to test, and how often to test.
- Where to get the right equipment to test and the cost involved.
- Interpreting results and creating a strategy to respond.
Part of the WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature programme includes biodiversity monitoring on-farm.