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Blue Duck Creek

The Kaikoura zone is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Inland Kaikoura ranges, covering a total area of 31972 km2. The area has a mild maritime climate and high sunshine hours with an average annual rainfall of that ranges from 1750mm in the headwaters to 844 mm by the coast. The upper catchments are mostly alpine rock and gravel with a mixture of native and exotic scrubland. Lowland areas are under stronger landuse pressures and are a mixture of low and high producing grassland, with dairying and beef farming being the predominant landuse activities. There are seven rivers within the Kaikoura area that are sampled routinely for water quality by Environment Canterbury’s as part of the State of the Environment monitoring programme; these sites represent Hill and spring-fed river types. 

As with many areas in New Zealand, increasing pressure is being placed on our water resources by intensifying landuse activities, increased demand for water take (e.g. for irrigation and urbanisation), particularly in lowland areas. The best water quality is often observed in the upper reaches of rivers where there has been less degradation and anthropogenic activity. The poorest water quality is typically found closer to the coast where waterways are under pressure from landuse activities Upper river reaches in the Kaikoura Zone generally have good water quality with low level nutrient enrichment.

The lower reaches, particularly Lyell creek, have poorer water quality with higher nutrient concentrations, high bacteria concentrations and poor aquatic life supporting parameters, such as dissolved oxygen. This is most likely a result of intensive agricultural pressures in lowland areas.

Sites 2

Monitored sites in the Blue Duck Creek catchment

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