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Tasman region

River Quality

The Tasman region has more than 9,000 kilometres of rivers and streams. The major rivers are the Aorere, Takaka, Motueka, Waimea and Buller.

Tasman District Council monitors surface water quality across the district. In this section you will find information on the health of our surface water resources.

Tasman's waterways provide valued places for swimming, boating and other recreation, a home for aquatic plants and animals, a source of food, water for drinking, hydroelectricity, and irrigation for horticulture and agriculture.

The main threats to water quality are the intensification of agriculture and the growth in population. The council monitors 26 river sites across the district and works with the community and industry to ensure we have a sustainable resource for the future. Some of our rivers and streams have changed dramatically since European settlement. These have been dammed, had water pumped out or diverted, waste discharged into them, or invasive plants introduced. The land draining into these rivers (their catchment area) has been cleared for agriculture, forestry and urban development. These activities all increase the amount of runoff entering rivers and streams.

Many of the district’s rivers and streams are probably in better condition now than they were half a century ago, but they continue to be affected by pollution from a variety of sources, including runoff and leaching from agricultural land, stormwater and industrial discharges.