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WATER

Balclutha water forum less than two weeks away

Thursday 22 July 2010, 7:53AM
By Otago Regional Council
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BALCLUTHA

Otago farmers and others interested in rural water quality are being urged to attend the last of a series of major Otago Regional Council (ORC) forums on water quality, to be held in Balclutha later this month.

The Balclutha forum, to be held at the South Otago Town and Country Club from 1pm to 5.30pm on Thursday July 29, follows the successful "Good water, good farming" forums held at Cromwell and Oamaru.

ORC director of policy and resource planning Fraser McRae said the forum would highlight the council's new approach to the management of farm water contaminants, and offer South Otago farmers and others an opportunity to influence the development of water quality policy in Otago.

Mr McRae said a prime objective of an ORC review of parts of its water plan is to develop Otago solutions for non-point source discharges.

"We want to encourage farmers to use effects-based methods to manage the contaminants from run-off, leaching and farm drains that can enter streams, rivers and lakes."

As well as featuring a lineup of leading speakers, the forum will offer opportunities for feedback and discussion on the pros and cons of the ORC proposals.

The Balclutha forum follows the release earlier this year of a major ORC study of the Pomahaka River catchment. The report highlighted that water quality in the lower Pomahaka catchment has been degrading for a number of years, while land use has rapidly intensified.

Further information, including an electronic copy of the rural water quality strategy, and a programme for the forum, is available at www.orc.govt.nz