New dairy industry proposals aimed at better limiting the environmental impact of dairy farms are a positive sign, says Waikato Regional Council chairman Peter Buckley.
Protecting water quality from the impacts of dairying is a key consideration for the council, its stakeholders and iwi partners.
The council is currently considering, along with iwi partners, the development of new measures to protect the health of the Waikato and Waipa rivers. It recognises there is much work to be done to reduce the impacts of agriculture on waterways. Other catchments will be looked at later.
Now the dairy sector has published a new Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord aimed at getting farmers to do more to limit the impact of their operations on waterways nationally. The accord – which builds on earlier work by the industry, regional councils and others - is to be discussed with farmers over coming months with a view to finalising and implementing it in time for the next dairy season.
“As we and our iwi partners and stakeholders work to do more to protect water, it’s good to see the industry is also seeking to better mitigate the environmental impacts of dairying on waterways,” said Mr Buckley, himself a north Waikato dairy farmer.
“The health of our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater is highly important to the council, iwi, stakeholders and the wider community so I congratulate the industry on the effort it is putting into lifting its game on protecting water quality.”
Land and water quality subcommittee chairman Norm Barker said the new accord was a sign of how far the industry had accepted the need to change.
“This type of initiative will play a part in our regional response to water quality issues.”