Lake health check-up

Over 95 percent of New Zealand lakes are not monitored for water quality.

The Royal Society, Wānaka Branch, will be meeting Friday, February 7 at 6.00pm to discuss “Our Lakes’ Health”. This meeting will be covering the importance of the past, present and future conditions of the Otago region lakes. Featured speakers are Drs Marcus Vandergoes (GNS Science), Susie Wood (Cawthron Institute) and the Lakes380 team.

“The health of our lakes is central to New Zealand’s environmental, economic and cultural wellbeing. Yet we cannot robustly assess the water quality of the lakes because over 95 percent of them are not monitored. Even for the few lakes that are monitored, datasets are short (less than 20 years),” says Emeritus Professor Peter Herbison, statistician, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Otago University. 

The ‘Our Lakes’ health; past, present, future (also known as Lakes380)’ is a five-year research project which aims to collect water, surface sediment and sediment core samples from 10 percent of New Zealand lakes. A suite of novel and traditional methods have been used to explore shifts in lake health over the last 1,000 years (pre-human arrival in New Zealand). 

“Two case studies are underway where the Lakes380 team is working closely with the Rangitīkeii and in the Wairarapa Moana to explore how we can create an enriched understanding between mātauranga Māori and scientific reconstructions to enhance knowledge on lake health/mauri. We will provide an overview of these pieces of work,” concluded Herbison.

All welcome to join the discussion this Friday at 6.00 pm at the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby Street, Wānaka.


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