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Waterway Management

  • There may be only a limited environmental benefit in fencing waterways to avoid sheep access because of minor adverse effects from stock access unless there is stream bank erosion and important water or wetland habitat have to be protected. Also, it may not be practicable to fence for extensive beef unless a regional rule requires so.

  • Where possible fence permanently giving regards to flooding and slope. Greater the slope wider the margin retired. If permanently fencing plant with suitable slow growing native shrubs to minimise weed proliferation within the riparian strip.

  • A riparian strip with sufficient vegetation including good grass cover is more effective in reducing phosphorus, sediment and faecal bacteria runoff than regularly grazed strips.

  • Use crossings to avoid direct access of stock. Install battery culverts (multiple small culverts) with provision for overtopping (referred to by engineers as secondary flow pathway) than installing fords.

  • When installing crossings, particularly culverts ensure unimpeded fish passage. If waterfall forms at the downstream end of the culvert, it is not installed properly.

  • Provide reticulated water supply for stock drinking unless your farming is extensive. If you have not already done this make sure this task as your top priority. While costly to establish water supply, in the long term productivity of livestock will increase due to ready access to drinking water and less energy spent on walking to the nearest water way. Such a move will also reduce stock access to waterways which improve your environmental compliance substantially.

  • If possible, divert all tile and mole drains to detention pond(s) or constructed wetland. (Refer NIWA publication for further info- New Zealand Guidelines for Constructed Wetland Treatment of Tile Drainage).