Issues affecting river and stream health

Many of our rivers and streams have changed dramatically since European settlement. They have been dammed, had water pumped out for irrigation, been diverted, waste discharged into them, had discharges from land run-off, intensive stock grazing in and around the waterways and invasive plants have been introduced.

The land draining into these rivers (their catchment area) has been cleared for agriculture, forestry and urban development. This all leads to an increase in the amount of run-off entering rivers and streams which affects the quality of the water. Many of our rivers and streams are probably in better condition now than they were half a century ago due to increasing awareness of land and water management practices. However, they continue to be affected by pollution from a variety of sources:

  • Forestry
  • Dairy and intensive beef farming
  • Discharges from sewage
  • Discharges from urban environments


Effects from forestry
Effects of dairy and intensive beef farming
Effects of discharges from sewage
Effects of Discharges from Urban Environments

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