$1.27m to improve water quality in Lake Horowhenua

News from NZ Government
The Government will invest $540,000 towards cleaning up Lake Horowhenua. Combined with funding from Horizon’s Regional Council and Horowhenua District Council, as well as in-kind contributions from Dairy NZ and the Tararua Growers’ Association, the total funding for the project will be $1.27 million.

The project will improve the water quality through sediment and nutrient management on the lake and its tributaries, improving water quality for recreation and wild life.

The project includes stream fencing, planting, building a wetland, harvesting lake weeds, and developing farm plans.

Native fish populations and habitats will benefit from a fish pass and restoration work to improve the link between the lake and the sea.

A new boat wash facility in Levin will help reduce the risk of transfer of weed into the lake, and new storm water treatment systems will reduce sediment inflows from Levin.

“I am confident that the project will help bring the lake back to an acceptable state over time. Significant monitoring of the lake water quality is now in place, and strict resource consent conditions will control nutrients,” says Environment Minister Amy Adams.

The project showed the benefits of collaboration in addressing long-standing problems around water quality.

“It is to the credit of local farmers that they accept the need for limits on nutrient discharges for environmental reasons, even though one of the major factors in the lake’s degradation is due to the discharge of treated sewage up until the 1980s.

“It is encouraging to see industry groups and farmers increasing innovation and investment to reduce their environmental impact.”

This is the seventh nationally-significant project to be supported by the $15m Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-Up Fund set up in 2011.

The others are Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, Manawatu River, Wairarapa Moana, Wainono Lagoon, Waituna Lagoon and Lake Brunner.

News from Horizons Regional Council
Horizons Regional Council look forward to implementing a suite of projects after it was announced today that central government fresh water clean-up funding has been secured to contribute to the restoration of Lake Horowhenua.

Environment Minister Amy Adams today announced that $540,000 in funding will be put forward to the restoration of Lake Horowhenua, complementing $730,500 of funding from Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua District Council and industry.

Horizons chairperson Bruce Gordon acknowledged the involvement of a number of parties in producing the funding application.

“To receive this level of funding is significant and it is important to recognise the Accord partners and associated groups such as the Tararua Growers Association and Dairy NZ who have collaboratively worked together in support of the application,” he said.

The projects that were selected for the funding proposal were based on work carried out by Horizons’ scientists, alongside the National Institute for Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Waikato University.

The suite of eight projects were agreed upon in order to improve the suitability of the lake for recreational use, reduce the inputs of sediment and nutrients into the lake and to improve native fish populations in the lake. The clean-up fund project is one part of the work being carried out by the Accord partners. Horizons will undertake overall project management of this clean-up fund project and will lead the delivery of six of the projects while Horowhenua District Council will deliver the remaining two.

The suite of eight projects are;

• Purchase and operation of lake weed harvesting equipment

• Provision of a boat wash facility in Levin township

• Riparian fencing and planting

• Installing stormwater treatment systems

• Installing a sediment trap/treatment wetland on the Arawhata inflow to the lake

• Creating integrated drainage and sediment control plans for up to 500 ha of cropping farms

• Preparing sustainable milk production plans for dairy farms in the catchment

• Improving habitat for native fish and installing a fish pass to improve access to the lake for native fish

Mr. Gordon pointed out that the projects undertaken as part of the fresh water clean-up fund package are only one part of a wider clean-up strategy which is led by the Lake Horowhenua Accord partners.

“This is just one step in the process and we will continue to work with the Accord partners to restore the lake to its former healthy state,”

“Lake Horowhenua is a valuable asset for our region, not only recreationally but also culturally and economically. As the lake is restored, it will again become a key part of our community and a place that we can be proud of.”

The expectation is that a number of the actions will be carried out this year so the positive effects can start to be seen by next summer.

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