Matt & Libby from afar

Farm Impact Reduction

Farm Environment Plan – With Descriptor

About the project

We are working with nine Fonterra farmers (25% of the Ararira-LII catchment area), AgResearch, NIWA and Canterbury University to develop a comprehensive ‘next generation’ Living Water Farm Environment Plan (FEP). The next generation FEPs are designed to acknowledge the contributions of each landowner towards reaching a catchment target by linking ‘good management practice’ to nutrient reduction, environmental improvement and community aspirations. Priority actions are then identified, implemented and monitored, and case studies and costings developed to share with others.

Libby Sutherland

Libby Sutherland

Fonterra Sustainable Dairying Advisor, Ararira-LII
Matt & Libby beside stream


  • Landowners able to communicate an evidence-based story about the positive impact their actions are having
  • Landowners are more motivated to implement environmental improvement actions due to their positive impacts contributing to voluntary catchment targets and being recognised by the community
  • Prioritised actions for reducing nutrient and sediment loads entering Ararira-LII River and Te Waihora
  • Improved freshwater ecosystems
  • Greater lowland ecological resilience


  • Concept planning, Farm Environment Plan template, fieldwork and impact modelling completed
  • Baseline monitoring underway
  • Experts currently assessing priority actions for implementation in early 2018

What's next

  • Monitoring tool effectiveness
  • Planning priority actions on farm to achieve catchment outcomes
  • Implementing actions
  • Case study to be written

Farm Environment Plans really help Living Water deliver on what we’re trying to achieve. Each site has certain objectives and farm environment plans give us an opportunity to give a stocktake of that catchment, what’s happening on farm, where each farmer is at, what the regulations are, but it also maps the whole area for us, so we can really prioritise the tools we use in each area.

Matt Highway
Libby looking at map of farm
Libby with FEP app