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Southern Ellesmere Streams

Harts Creek, Boggy Creek and the Doyleston Drain are located in the Environment Canterbury Selwyn – Ellesmere water management zone. These streams are springfed and occur in catchments characterised by temperate climate, warm, dry summers and cool winters. All three streams flow into and recharge a large shallow brackish lake; Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora) which is located at the eastern edge of the Canterbury coastline.
In the past decade this water management zone has been under increasing pressure for increased water abstraction to support intensive landuse activities. This has resulted in more frequent low flows and subsequent degraded water quality. 

Streams are located in an area that is under moderate-to-high landuse pressures from such activities as pastoral beef and sheep, dairying, cropping and urbanisation. Consequently water quality issues are elevated dissolved nutrient concentrations and bacteria levels.

All three streams are monitored by Environment Canterbury as part of the state of environment monitoring programme. Water quality results show the influence of groundwater on spring-fed streams with respect to highly mobile conservative contaminants such as nitrate. Groundwater has less of an effect on phosphorus concentrations, with concentrations more reflective of land use and soil properties adjacent to the water bodies. Low flows over summer also have considerable influence on many water quality attributes.

Sites 6

Monitored sites in the Southern Ellesmere Streams catchment

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