About the project
A Catchment Condition Survey (CCS) provides baseline information about the condition of a catchment through the physical inspection of properties. By gathering this baseline information, decisions on what actions to take and where to achieve the best results can be identified and costed.
A Catchment Condition Survey was undertaken as part of the Mountains to Sea Project. This gave us a starting point and also provided information to inform the development of a Catchment Action Prioritisation Tool (CAPTure).
The CCS allows landowners to identify key ecological issues in a catchment, determine priority areas for mitigation and is relatively inexpensive to repeat to measure change.
The primary features assessed by the CCS were:
- stock access to waterways
- riparian vegetation type
- stock access to significant natural features
- land/riparian erosion
As a secondary focus, the following features were recorded during the survey if they were encountered:
- stream structures
- stream blockages
- weed issues
- threatened species presence
- any relevant landowner comments
A Catchment Condition Survey was also carried out for the Okarika Pocket transformation project in Wairua, Northland.
- Inexpensive and quick to deliver
- Direct engagement with landowners increases awareness of environmental issues and gives context to their property being part of a catchment
- Involves physical inspection of properties meaning data is more detailed compared to a desktop mapping exercise
- Identifies priority actions - at both property and catchment scale
- Can be adjusted to target particular threats e.g. barriers to native fish passage
- Easy to repeat to measure change
- Agreement to test Waikato Regional Council CCS template
- Contractor engaged
- Permission obtained from landowners and field survey completed
- GIS data, summary map, and report provided to Living Water
- CCS used to inform individual Farm Environment Plans (FEPs)
- Data set incorporated into development of catchment prioritisation tool CAPTure
- Re-survey using drone over set photo points to monitor progress as and when required