Wānaka Water Project
The Wānaka Water Project has been completed. It’s aim was to improve the understanding of the risks to our waterways and identify the actions needed to manage them. A project designed by the community for the community supported by a range of generous funders.
In collaboration with a network of passionate individuals, regulators, scientists, and community the project recorded many successes over its duration (2018-2023). This includes the creation of the Community Catchment Plan, planting 24,000 riparian plants along more than 7,000m of waterways as well as 2 comprehensive applied science reports and 2 science research projects.
THE PROJECT’S THREE KEY STREAMS OF WORK
Community Catchment Plan
Your ongoing action plan for the Upper Clutha’s freshwater! Designed by the community for the community. It addresses current and future risks to freshwater resources in order to prevent any decline in water quality and ecosystem function.
Native plantings to restore riparian margins around the catchment, led by Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust. 24,000 eco-sourced native plants were successfully planted along waterways over 5 years. Find out more about how you can support riparian planting.
Four research projects were undertaken, including two stormwater research reports, a hydrodynamic drifter study, and a project on valuing natural capital, all focused on investigating the impact of urban development on stormwater and drainage into Lake Wānaka.
Celebrating native planting in the Upper Clutha Catchment – a joint effort between the Wānaka Water Project and the WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature programme.
- August 2018 – Stormwater research workshop held in Wānaka.
- December 2018 – Year 1 $60K ‘Love Lake Wānaka’ Million Metres fundraising target achieved.
- February 2019 – Research funding approved for two stormwater projects.
- March 2019 – Water Survey launched. Water Hui and Water Workshop held.
- June 2019 – 4,500 plants in the ground thanks to Te Kākano volunteers. Literature Review complete.
- August 2019 Second Water Hui held.
- December 2019 Year 2 $60K ‘Love Lake Wānaka’ Million Metres fundraising target achieved.
- March 2020 Community Catchment Plan published.
- June 2020 Land Use Effects on the Health of Urban Streams report published by Melanie Vermeulen. View summary here.
- September 2020 Stakeholder update event with presentation from Melanie Vermuelen about her findings.
- March 2021 Year 3 $60K ‘Cardrona Kaitiaki’ Million Metres fundraising target achieved.
- March 2021 Stormwater Quality of Discharges into Lake Wānaka report published by Victoria Grant. View summary here.
- April 2021 ‘Love our Alpine Lakes‘ fundraising campaign launched.
- May 2021 Stakeholder update event held.
- May 2021 Over 5,000m of waterways protected.
- January 2022 CCP Summary document update.
- March 2022 ‘Love our Alpine Lakes‘ fundraising target achieved.
- September 2022 Literature Review update.
- September 2022 NIWA Lake Wānaka Roys Bay drifter study completed.
- March 2023 phase one – Castalia Project – valuing natural capital.
- May 2023 planting goal reached: 24,000 native plants in the ground!
- To view our last Annual Plan click here.
Our Current Understanding
WAI Wānaka commissioned a review of existing literature to assist with the development of the Community Catchment Plan. The literature review included: A state of the environment summary, high level policy and plan direction, risks to the catchment. The literature review is currently being updated to include the most recent science, policy and applied research findings.
Community Values and Concerns
In 2019 a survey of the Upper Clutha community’s values and concerns regarding freshwater was published. 75% of those who completed it believe that water quality in the Upper Clutha is getting worse, with the key concerns being: agricultural runoff including the use of pesticides, fertilisers and other chemicals; and issues related to population growth.