Rivers and us
Rivers and us is our cross-curricula unit for levels 2 - 4. This unit looks at the many and diverse ways that we use water and the effect these activities have on the Waikato region’s waterways. The unit is linked to the Guidelines for Environmental Education in New Zealand Schools and provides ideas for taking action in the environment.
Take your Environmental Education outside the classroom - visit your local waterway.
You can print a copy of Rivers and Us from this website by opening the PDF files below (split into chapters). These units can be used in conjunction with our Impacts on Waterways teaching resource.
(286 kb, 40 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Why Waikato Regional Council is involved with environmental education.
1b Catchment information
(49 kb, 7 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Find out about the water quality for the Waikato, Waipa, Waihou, Piako, Tairua and Mokau catchments and the issues that effect them.
2 Unit plans
(98 kb, 14 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Sample unit plans for levels 2, 3 and 4.
3 What is water and where does it come from?
What is water and where does it come from?
(148 kb, 21 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Explore the water cycle and investigate our relationship with water.
4 How does water flow?
How does water flow?
(156 kb, 22 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Follow water through the water cycle and relate it to the ways that water flows in your catchment.
5 What effect does people’s use of water have on water quality?
What effect does people's use of water have on water quality?
(198 kb, 28 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Explore the issues surrounding people’s use of water including: where our drinking water comes from, what happens in the waste water cycle, bottled water, stormwater, ground water, industrial use of water, power generation, Maori views of water and recreational use of water.
6 What impact does land use have on water quality?
What impact does land use have on water quality?
(118 kb, 16 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Cities and towns, farming and horticultural uses of the land all affect water quality. This chapter looks at issues such as stock access to streams, disposal of dairy shed effluent, removal of the natural land cover, erosion, intensive stocking, pesticide and fertiliser use and the impact of road works and sub-divisions.
7 How clean is our stream?
How clean is our stream?
(165 kb, 23 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Go and explore a local stream, find out about the macro-invertebrates that tell us about water quality. Find out how much water is flowing in the stream, what the clarity, temperature and pH of the stream is and look at the habitat that the stream provides for fish and invertebrates (insect larvae).
8 Your own catchment picture
Your own catchment picture
(121 kb, 17 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Share your findings about water quality with your community.
(67 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Glossary of terms.
10 Photocopy Masters
(2281 kb, 325 seconds to download, 56k modem)
The resources to support the issues, this section includes copies of the water cycle, water treatment and waste water treatment cycle, maps of the Waikato region and activities for students to do on a field trip.
(927 kb, 132 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Colour photographs to accompany the issues explored in the unit.
12 References and contacts
References and Contacts
(90 kb, 12 seconds to download, 56k modem)
References and resources, and contacts.
Useful links on this website
Waikato River water quality monitoring map
Regional rivers water quality monitoring map
Disclaimer: This resource is out of date. The curriculum links are not current. However we believe the content and activities are still of value to teachers.