The Waikaka Stream is the local water body for the wider Waikaka community in Eastern Southland. It is used for many recreational activities, such as swimming and fishing, and runs through many farming properties in the district. The community formed a Catchment Group in late 2017 to establish a way to manage the stream based on changing regulations and legislation from Environment Southland.
The stream’s water quality is measured by Environment Southland at a single point in the catchment, close to the confluence between the stream and the Mataura River. Therefore, current recording only reflects the cumulative impact of any agricultural or other activity that may be altering the water quality of the stream.
This report presents the findings of a research project conducted at the University of Otago, assessing the overall water quality of the Waikaka Stream, and the management views of the local community. The report outlines how data was gathered through in-stream water quality measurements, and interviews with local farmers in the district. These results are designed to assist in future management of the stream, working towards improved water quality outcomes for the catchment.