15 Jun 2012

Growing pressures on water and land

1:07 pm on 15 June 2012

A series of new environmental reports have pin-pointed growing pressures on water and land resources in the Wellington region, which includes Wairarapa and the Kapiti Coast.

The reports, issed by Wellington Regional Council, paint a generally positive picture for water, air and land quality in most of the region.

But they warn about the poor health of small streams in urban and intensively farmed areas.

The council says demand for water from aquifers, rivers and streams keeps growing.

Allocation of water permits doubled between 1990 and 2010, mainly for farm irrigation and town supply. Many rivers and streams, particularly in Wairarapa, are now fully allocated.

The council is currently investigating water storage options for Wairarapa.

It says water levels in half of the 29 aquifer monitoring wells assessed in the Wairarapa valley declined significantly between 1994 and last year, and water levels in some don't appear to fully recover in winter.

Investigations manager Graham Sevicke-Jones says the reports also identify soil health issues in vegetable growing and dairy farming areas.