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The Pongakawa stream has a catchment area of 132.5 square kilometres and moves through geology dominated by volcanic activity (Rotoiti pyroclastics).  In the upper catchment exotic and native forests are the main land cover, with some pasture.  Pasture and horticulture are prevalent in the rest of the catchment.  Water quality monitoring at Old Coach Road and State Highway 2 shows nitrogen and bacteria (E.coli) are increasing in the lower Pongakawa.

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Monitored sites in the Pongakawa catchment

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