Page 1 of 3
What Are Riparian Margins?
A riparian margin is a strip of land alongside a waterway where the water and land meet. It contributes to the natural functioning, quality and character of the waterway.
Riparian margins have the ability to prevent, correct or minimise the adverse effects of land based activities on the water quality and the aquatic environment. Improved riparian management can result in cleaner water, which can benefit stock and increase farm production. It also provides habitats for fish, birds and other animal life. Riparian management can enhance the visual attractiveness of a farm and provide more opportunities for recreational activities such as swimming. Farming has a major influence on the quality of our rivers and streams. Stock effluent and stream bank erosion caused by grazing stock degrade our streams by adding pollutants and increasing sediment levels. In 1996 there were 521 dairy farms with 105,001 cattle adjacent to the three main rivers within our district, as well as 114 beef farms totaling 7,849 cattle (Agri-data 1996).
The Waikato Regional Council is responsible for taking samples and measuring the health and bathing quality of our rivers and streams. It is important that we live in a healthy environment. Clean waterways and margins are important to flora and fauna. Unsatisfactory water quality has various negative effects, including making it difficult for aquatic animals to breathe and restricting plant growth. Water pollution can also be bad for human health.
The Waikato Regional Council monitors streams in seven locations within the Matamata-Piako District. Measurements are taken for ecology with the indicators being dissolved oxygen, PH, turbidity, ammonia, temperature, total phosphorus, total nitrogen and also for bathing quality with the indicators being baseflow clarity and E-coli.
For links to the individual measurements click on the links below:
In general the graphs show that: