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Managing the Impacts of Afforestation on Water Yield

Authors: Chris Fowler, David Pedley
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2010, Issue N.Z.J.For. 55(4) 2011, pp 14-18, Jan 2011
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Chris Fowler and David Pedley of Adderley Head discuss The Canterbury Experience Introduction Of all the natural resources within our environment, few would disagree that the most important of all is fresh water. By international standards, New Zealand has an abundant and clean supply of fresh water. However, as demand for water continues to increase, the management of this valuable resource is becoming more challenging. The responsibility for managing water lies with the various regional councils throughout New Zealand. In the Canterbury region, Environment Canterbury (ECan) has recently released its decisions on the Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP). The NRRP contains a specific chapter on water quantity, which seeks to manage the amount of water in Canterbury’s rivers and aquifers. One of the methods used to manage water yield is to control land use, including specific controls on forestry activities in the region. This article tells the story of the forestry sector’s experience with the issue of water yield in Canterbury. It provides a brief outline of the issue, ECan’s proposed solution, the forestry sector’s response, and the final decision of the ECan Commissioners. It then considers the impact of this decision on forestry activities in Canterbury and the potential implications for other regions in New Zealand that may face similar pressures in the future.