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THE LIVING WATER VISION IS THAT A SUSTAINABLE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS PART OF HEALTHY, FUNCTIONING ECOSYSTEMS THAT TOGETHER ENRICH THE LIVES OF ALL NEW ZEALANDERS.

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Living Water is a partnership between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation who are working together to improve biodiversity and water quality across New Zealand. 

The partnership teams are currently focusing on five sensitive catchments:

  • Kaipara Harbour: Hikurangi Catchment
  • Firth of Thames/Tīkapa Moana: Pῡkorokoro/Miranda Catchment
  • Waikato Peat Lakes: Areare, Ruatuna, Rotomānuka
  • Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere: Ararira/LII Catchment
  • Awarua–Waituna: Waituna Catchment 

Kaipara Harbour: Hikurangi Catchment

Enhancing wetlands and floodplain management

Firth of Thames: Pῡkorokoro / Miranda Catchment

Shorebird habitat, flyways and farming on the coast

Three Waikato
Peat Lakes

Restoring unique peat lake ecosystems

Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere: Ararira/LII Catchment

Sustainable management for healthy lowland freshwater ecosystems

Awarua-Waituna: Waituna Catchment

Protecting and reconnecting wetland fragments
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About the Living Water Programme


about living water

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About the Living Water Programme


about living water

Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have a common interest in protecting New Zealand's waterways. We recognise that quality water from healthy ecosystems underpins New Zealand's environmental health, community well-being and economic prosperity.

Living Water is our ten year $20 million partnership programme focused on improving biodiversity and water quality at five significant catchments where intensive dairying exists.

Our initiative marks the start of a new determination to work together, engaging with local communities to make a real difference for their waterways.  

By combining DOC's conservation expertise together with Fonterra's responsible dairying  programme and support this long-term commitment will deliver tangible benefits to our communities, and all of New Zealand, now and for generations to come.

To start with, we’ve focused on five sensitive water catchments across New Zealand.  We are working with farmers, iwi/hapu, community groups and key stakeholders on projects, including pest and weed control and riparian restoration that benefit freshwater and coastal environments and show sustainable dairying can be part of healthy functioning ecosystems. 

Click here to download our programme brochure.

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Living Proof


LIVING PROOF

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Living Proof


LIVING PROOF

WATER IS AN ESSENTIAL NATURAL RESOURCE FOR DAIRYING AND FOR EVERYDAY LIVING.

Fonterra is committed to dairy excellence and has developed the Supply Fonterra programme to ensure healthier streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands by helping farmers proactively meet national and regional standards, and care for the land and the waterways in their local communities for generations to come.

Lead by a network of sustainable dairying advisers, area managers, food safety managers and farm dairy assessors, the programme offers clarity about standards, best practice information and advice. 

  • Every year all  10,400 Fonterra farms are assessed.
  • More than 5,138 effluent improvement plans put in place since August 2010.
  • Every year 17 sustainable dairy advisors focus on supporting farmers to improve water quality on their farms.
  • Over 387 hectares of land and waterways improved since 2009 through our catchment care programme which evolved into Living Water in March 2013.
  • Over 24,300 Km Kilometres of defined waterways on Fonterra farms are now stock excluded.  
  • A Waterway Management Programme clarifies standards for stock exclusion and stock crossings.
  • Farmers are encouraged to plant near waterways to further improve water quality.
  • An Effluent Management Programme helps farmers put effective systems in place to maximise nutrient use while minimising effects on local waterways.
  • A Nitrogen Management Programme aims to reduce dairying’s impact on groundwater by helping farmers use nitrogen more efficiently. 

We know everybody has to do their bit so Fonterra is working together with the wider agricultural sector, government, councils, iwi/hapu and communities to make a positive difference to New Zealand's water catchments and natural habitats.

Fonterra is an Accountable Partner to the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord whose purpose is to enhance the overall performance of dairy farming as it effects freshwater.


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AT FONTERRA WE RECOGNISE THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY FOR USING WATER WISELY AND SUSTAINABLY  THROUGHOUT OUR SUPPLY CHAIN. WE’RE MAKING GREAT PROGRESS AT EVERY STAGE BY DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR OUR BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY.

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Doing Right by the Land


doing right by the land

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Doing Right by the Land


doing right by the land

Fonterra farmers are committed to doing right by the land, looking after it for the next generation. Their actions and results to date have helped reduce our impact on the environment, together with the support and advice of our Supply Fonterra programme.


Richie McCaw

Fonterra Brand Ambassador


Hans & Anita Nelis

Farm Shareholders, Tirau

ALAN BULLICK

Farm Business Manager


Ritchie & Sue Morgan

Farm Shareholders, Arapuni


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Governance


governance

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Governance


governance

gOVERNANCE sTRATEGY AND PROGRESS REPORTING

BOTH PARTNERS SHARE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION AND DELIVERY OF THE LIVING WATER PROGRAMME.  A JOINT STEERING COMMITTEE  OVERSEES THE PROGRAMME AND ENSURES PROGRAMME DELIVERY AND REPORTING TARGETS ARE MET. 

  • Following extensive stakeholder engagement each of the five catchments has a three year strategy from which an annual work plan is derived. A team of DOC and Fonterra staff at each catchment deliver the projects in the annual plan.Each partner maintains its own regular internal reporting cycles. Progress and budgeting is reported on every two months to the Steering Committee.
  • An annual report summarises progress and budget performance.
  • Regular updates are provided to key external stakeholders and media items developed whenever possible.  
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Partnerships


PARTNERSHIPS

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Partnerships


PARTNERSHIPS

PARTNERSHIPS

QUEEN ELIZABETH II NATIONAL TRUST (QEII)

In March 2016 Living Water signed an agreement with the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) to formalise a collaborative partnership to help farmers and landowners legally protect areas of natural and cultural heritage.  The agreement sees Living Water contributing funding towards covenanting costs and QEII helping identify and secure priority land areas for protection.  Hikurangi farmers Graeme and Sharon Gillett are the first to work with Living Water and QEII under the new agreement, aiming to legally protect 12 hectares of native bush on their Fonterra dairy farm in Northland.  This partnership is right at the heart of what Living Water is about – working with others to enhance our biodiversity and water quality for future generations.  

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Supply Chain


supply chain

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Supply Chain


supply chain

At Fonterra we recognise that we have a responsibility for water quality and its use throughout our supply chain. 

We’re making great progress at every stage by doing what’s right for our business and the community.

All in This
Together

Supply Fonterra

On Farm Environment Programmes

Effluent

Management Programme

Waterway

Management Programme

Nitrogen

Management Programme

Water Use

Programme

Tanker

Wash
Water

Recycling

Wash
Chemical

Recycling

Processing

Darfield
plant

Zero discharges
in waterways

Fish & eel
habitat

improvement

Water intake

Replacement

Te Awa River

Cycleway support

Wastewater treatment

Infrastructure

Mangapiko
Stream

Restoration

Shipping

Using ships
with lower
fuel use
and less
pollution

Consumer

Roaming Cow

Programme Australia

Drinking
Water

Programme China