Environment Canterbury’s Plan Change 2 to the Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) includes the requirement to reduce on farm nitrogen losses by up to 36% by 2035 and to reduce average annual shallow groundwater concentrations of nitrate -nitrogen to a target of less than 6.9mg/l by 2035.

These requirements come on the back of 2018 nitrate-nitrogen figures that show average annual shallow groundwater concentrations exceeding the NZ drinking water maximum acceptable value and well above the 2035 target.

In addition, the Freshwater NPS 2020 came into force on 3 September 2020 with new requirements including managing freshwater in a way that ‘gives effect’ to Te Mana o te Wai, improving degraded water bodies, and maintaining or improving all others. 

The MAR pilot sits alongside a requirement to change farming practices in the catchment to address issues. It is not a replacement or substitute for enhanced farming practice.

If we don’t manage to address this issue then it could have an impact on future faming within our catchment.