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Wetland Creation


About the Wetland Water Storage Project 

Aqua Intel Aotearoa (AIA) is working with Environment Southland (ES) and Te Ao Marama Incorporated (TAMI) to explore the potential for wetland enhancement to contribute to the hauora, or wellbeing, of water and the economic resilience of the Southland region.

A pilot study will focus on wetland enhancement or micro storage to slow the flow of water and/or store peak flows from ephemeral streams (those that only flow after rainfall). We will monitor the effectiveness of this pilot, focusing on water quantity and the role of the wetland in baseflow enhancement.  

Who is supporting the mahi?

The project is largely funded through Aqua Intel Aotearoa, a national programme on regional water availability and storage. AIA is a collaboration between Kānoa (the delivery arm of the Provincial Growth Fund) and GNS Science. AIA is working with Environment Southland, Te Ao Marama, and Thriving Southland. 

Where are the sites? 

Potential sites were identified in the Waimea Stream Catchment, including: Upper Waimea/Fox Creek, Sandstone Stream, and Lower Waimea/Waimea Stream. A tour of all the sites resulted in selection of three preferential locations for the pilot study. 

What was involved in site selection?

Three sites were selected for the pilot study. These sites were selected based on the following characteristics:

  • Can build on existing natural features (e.g. wetland remnants, oxbow/s, ephemeral stream beds).

  • Earthworks meet permitted activity rules.

  • Ability to enhance existing biodiversity values (flora and fauna). 

  • Continued landowner access to the site for monitoring and assessment.

Sites were targeted on Crown or private land, to allow for either a community-led and/or landowner-led initiative.

What is the next step? 

The selected sites are potential areas where wetland enhancement may be undertaken. We are now working with landowners and other stakeholders for design phase. The next steps are the construction and monitoring phases.

How to find out more


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