Urban Catchments

The aim of the Urban Catchment Project is to improve the health of urban freshwater in the Upper Clutha through education and community-led action

The urban communities of Wānaka, Hāwea, Luggate, Cardrona and Makarora continue to grow at a rapid rate. This directly affects the health and wellbeing of our freshwater ecosystems, and with that, our own.

The Urban Catchment Project grew from the need to inform the Upper Clutha community about local water issues and how to help mitigate them. Supporting urban action groups with the knowledge, framework and tools they need in order to preserve and improve the health of urban streams/stormwater and their surrounding ecosystems.

In this way we can all work together towards WAI Wānaka’s vision for ‘healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing for future generations’.

group of people examining an urban stream


Community-led urban action groups will be established through neighbourhood groups, school groups, clubs etc, or built around one or more specific environmental or sustainability goals.

Our aim is to establish action groups with a diverse array of priorities. From locations that represent the whole Upper Clutha catchment and involve all ages and all living groups. A key criteria for each group is to be passionate to restore, protect and preserve our urban catchments. Each group determines their own priorities. Taking ownership of issues they can affect, while being supported and facilitated by WAI Wānaka.

Click on the links below to see examples and updates from already established urban action groups.


Lakeside Road Enhancement Group

Our vision is a pristine lakefront environment that is free from invasive species, characterised by a balanced coexistence of native and exotic plants, with a high level of native biodiversity. Excellent public access and amenities, clean water flowing into the lake. As well as a united local community actively engaged in supporting environmental enhancement and protection.

Young Environmental Collective

The Young Environmental Collective or yo.eco for short is a passionate and devoted team of 18-35 year olds. They share a dream to successfully engage, support and empower their local demographic in the Upper Clutha for collective positive environmental outcomes.

Kirimoko Catchment Group

The group’s goals include maintaining and enhancing the existing Kirimoko Summit biodiversity efforts. Fostering a sense of community connection and increasing and enhancing local biodiversity and recreational access. The group kick started their efforts in 2022 with a Kirimoko planting event, bringing together a range of local environmental organisations.


Map of possible action groups in the Upper Clutha
We have mapped out possible future urban action groups around the Upper Clutha. If you would like to be involved in a urban action group, or maybe even start you own, please contact us!

To reach out to Oliver Eden-Mann directly, email oliver@waiwanaka.nz