Surf the net for new beach water quality dataEnvironment
Information on the water quality of 350 beaches around New Zealand is now accessible on-line as part of an initiative between regional councils, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and the Tindall Foundation, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.
“I want the millions of New Zealanders who go to the beach to swim, surf and play to have access to good information on water quality. It enables people to stay healthy and raises awareness of the importance of improving our water quality.”
www.lawa.org.nz is a national monitoring website launched in March 2014. It started with monitoring data of over 1100 river sites around New Zealand and is today being extended to coastal waters. LAWA stands for Land, Air, Water Aoteroa.
“New Zealand beaches generally have good water quality for swimming with 64% having low or very low risk, 22% an acceptable standard and 14% having high risk. LAWA will provide weekly beach monitoring data and seasonal indictors.
“This initiative is part of the Government’s programme of improving information on the quality of our environment. Next year we will be passing a new Environmental Reporting Act through Parliament to expand the quality and quantity of data. This work is about giving integrity to New Zealand’s clean green brand and highlighting areas where communities need to do better in managing water quality,” Dr Smith concluded.