Tools & Solutions

Ngā Taputapu me ngā Rongoā

Tools & Solutions

Living Water focused on better outcomes for the environment, the economy and New Zealanders – this meant finding solutions for healthy freshwater ecosystems and sustainable dairying to thrive side by side.

We focused on trialling solutions that can be taken to scale and will create real change - it’s why DOC and Fonterra worked together and is the purpose of the work. This includes physical tools that were designed to fulfill a particular action for freshwater improvement in the landscape, as well as approaches, processes, ways of working or system changes that move us towards more sustainable dairying and healthier freshwater ecosystems.

As we gathered results, we learnt which solutions could be scaled across catchments or regions, how that might be done (what support and capacity will the farming sector and communities need to get there), and how much it might cost.

Farm scale tools

Te hōkai ā-pāmu

Sediment Traps

Sediment traps are simple, low-cost excavations in a watercourse or near a waterbody that capture and reduce the downstream movement of gravel, sand, and silt. 

Low cost wetlands

Creating wetlands in wet areas on-farm can provide biodiversity benefits while also reducing flooding, erosion, and improving water quality.

Hydroseeding Trial

Spraying a mixture of water, seed, mulch and sometimes fertilisers onto the ground in difficult to reach places

Catchment scale tools

Ngā taputapu hōkai ā-riu hopuwai


Integrating landscape properties and cutting-edge science to explain why water quality varies

Ecosystem Services

Testing the usefulness of taking an ecosystems services approach for project planning

Detention Bund Trial

Determining whether detention bunds can effectively manage peak run off and reduce sediment in Northland

Physiographics Project

Helping landowners to better understand where to put contaminant management interventions to improve water quality leaving farms

Catchment Condition Survey

An inexpensive way to gather baseline information, identify key ecological issues and prioritise areas and activities for effective catchment management

Use of eDNA to detect species

Using a sample of water, soil or sediment can detect species much more easily than electrofishing or intensive trapping

Social tools

Ngā Taputapu ā-Pāpori

Establishing a partnership

Why was Living Water established? What were the challenges of establishing a partnership and what has been learned