The Government has set a target of 90 per cent of rivers and lakes being swimmable by 2040 and the Clean Water package will improve freshwater quality over time, says Environment Minister Nick Smith.
Specifically, the Government is:
• Consulting on regulations that will keep livestock out of waterways.
• Putting even more money into improving specific waterways.
• Requiring regional councils to improve overall water quality for swimming – councils have been asked to provide draft plans for achieving the swimming targets.
• Strengthening the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management to support the target and address issues of ecological health and nutrients in water.
• Providing New Zealanders with more information – this includes new maps which show water quality for swimming in rivers and lakes. The maps link with LAWA and regional council websites for the latest information on whether it’s safe to swim.
“There’s also work under way on considering good management practices. Many landowners are already leading the way in good management of freshwater in urban and rural areas and we’re looking at how we make these practices more widespread,” says Nick.