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Middle Waikato pilot project: A review of soil conservation research and catchment environmental monitoring

TR200516

Report: TR05/16

Author: Reece Hill, Ian Blair

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of existing soil conservation information that is relevant to the Middle Waikato Pilot Project.

Soil conservation work has been carried out in the Middle Waikato Zone before and following the implementation of Project Watershed. This report presents research and monitoring results available to date, to determine the environmental changes that have occurred or can be expected to occur in the Middle Waikato Zone. The findings will lend support to determining the benefit of soil conservation work in the Middle Waikato Zone. Primarily, only research and monitoring results directly relating to the Middle Waikato Zone or research in areas similar to the Middle Waikato Zone are included.

Middle Waikato Pilot Project: A Review of Soil Conservation Research and Catchment Environmental Monitoring [PDF, 755 KB]

Contents
Acknowledgements I
Executive Summary 1
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Framework 1
2 Soil Conservation Research Information 1
2.1 Hill Country Sustainable Management Research Update - Whatawhata Research Station 1
2.1.1 Introduction 1
2.1.2 Water Quality (Quinn, Stroud) 2
2.1.3 Bugs (Donnison, Ross, Thorrold) 2
2.1.4 Stream Ecology (Collier et al.) 3
2.1.5 Grazing and Runoff (Elliott et al.) 3
2.1.6 Cattle Behaviour (Bagshaw) 4
2.1.7 Terrestrial Biodiversity (Burns, Dodd) 4
2.1.8 Poplar Planting (Parminter, Dodd, Mackay) 4
2.1.9 Forecasting – the 30 Year Picture 5
2.1.10 Summary Points 6
2.2 Report for EW on Soil Conservation Benefits 6
2.2.1 Introduction 6
2.2.2 Benefits of Pasture/Stock Management 6
2.2.3 Benefits of Cultivation Practices 7
2.2.4 Benefits of Forest Management 8
2.2.5 Benefits of Fenced Riparian Strips (No Planting) 8
2.2.6 Benefits of Riparian Tree Planting 9
2.2.7 Benefits of Pole Planting on Slopes (Willows and Poplars Space-Planted in Pasture) 10
2.2.8 Benefit of Blanket Tree Planting on Slopes (Afforestation with Pines or other Timber Species) 11
2.2.9 Benefits of Land Retirement on Slopes (Scrub and Bush Reversion) 13
2.2.10 Benefits of Soil Conservation Engineering Measures (Detention Dams, Debris Dams, Gully Control Flumes, Earthflow Dewatering, Riverbank Stabilisation) 14
2.3 Suspended Sediment in the Waitomo Stream 14
2.3.1 Introduction 14
2.3.2 Waitomo Land-Care Group Activities 15
2.3.3 Data Collection and Analysis Approach 15
2.3.4 Main Findings 15
2.3.5 Monitoring Recommendations 16
2.3.6 Summary Points 17
2.4 Economic Analysis of Soil Conservation Benefits 17
2.4.1 Introduction 17
2.4.2 Effectiveness of Soil Conservation 18
2.4.3 Beneficiaries of Soil Conservation 18
2.4.4 Contributory Effects 20
2.4.5 Quantification and Distribution of Soil Conservation Benefits 21
2.4.6 Summary Points 23
3 Catchment Environmental Monitoring 24
3.1 Middle Waikato Zone Monitoring Programme 24
3.1.1 Introduction 24
3.1.2 Soil Stability 25
3.1.3 Suspended Sediment Snapshots 26
3.1.4 Riparian Characteristics Survey 28
3.1.5 Photo Points 32
3.1.6 Water Temperature 33
3.1.7 Stream Ecological Health 34
3.2 Historic Photos 34
4 Concluding Remarks 38
5 References 40
5.1 Hicks and Dyck 40
5.2 Whatawhata (1996-2004) 44
5.3 Additional References from EW reports 51
Appendix 1: Aspects of Water Quality 54
Appendix 2: Photo Points – Examples of Photo Points from the 2004 and 2005 Pokaiwhenua and Mangare Catchment Surveys 55