Aparima Freshwater Management Unit

Aparima Community Environment (ACE) (Aparima Freshwater Management Unit): Building our future together with our community

Catchment Group:

Community Environment (ACE) (Aparima Freshwater Management Unit)

Project:

Building our future together with our community

Funding:

$421,100 excl. GST

Period:

Jan 21 to Jun 23

Project Description

This community project is driven by farmers within the six Aparima Catchment Groups (Orepuki, Pourakino, Waimatuku, Lower, Mid and Upper Aparima). The Aparima Community Environment (ACE) project expands over three years and has four different workstreams: 

  • Workstream 1 raises community awareness and engagement through stream walks and water testing.
  • Workstream 2 involves working with farmers to understand and manage environmental risks on-farm, and implement additional good management practices and farm environment plans (FEP). 
  • Workstream 3 entails providing farmers with expert help to create a network of sediment traps and further guidance on cost implications and effectiveness.
  • Workstream 4 explores future solutions, including alternative farming systems and environmental mitigations.

Objectives

  • Increase farmer and community engagement and awareness of the Aparima Community and Environment (ACE) project and its objectives. 
  • Installation of suitably designed and located sediment traps throughout the Aparima. 
  • Supporting farmers to continue learning and implementing good farming practices and to develop farm environment plans and trial innovative practices.  
  • Working with farmers to explore and trial future farming systems and new on-farm mitigations that will support the shift needed to improve freshwater ecosystem health, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions quality, in a cost-effective and humane way.  

Outcomes

  • A highly engaged, motivated and transparent community comprising farmers and urban residents with clarity and purpose around the challenges ahead.
  • 100% of farmers have a FEP and are implementing cost-effective management practices.
  • Installation of five suitably designed, located and constructed sediment traps throughout the FMU - as demonstration sites for testing the effectiveness and management of sediment traps and for the wider farming community to learn from.
  • Farmers working together with suitably qualified rural professionals to identify and develop future farm systems that will be able to achieve regulatory requirements for improved freshwater and greenhouse gas footprint, while remaining profitable.

January 2022 progress update

  • 18 stream walks and 20 new water testing sites completed,
  • designed and built six new sediment traps, with six more due next summer.  
  • five demo farms are currently using a range of tools to meet future challenges
  • 6 new workshops are scheduled to run during 2022 to support bringing farm plans to life
  • the Group has requested a variation to the funding agreement in relation to Workstream 2 due to a change in approach. 

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