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  Services » Publications » Technical reports - by year » TR200207

Regional Riparian Characteristics - 2002 Survey Manual

Report: TR 2002/07
Author: Reece Hill, Johlene Kelly


The Waikato region includes more than 20 rivers and 1420 streams. Fresh water resources are used for hydroelectricity, water supply, waste treatment, flood control and for recreational pursuits. They also provide important habitat for aquatic plants and animals (Waikaro Regional Council, 1998). The demands on the region’s rivers and streams continue to increase as the result of land use intensification. The long-term management of these resources is a high priority to ensure fresh water quality and aquatic biodiversity within the Waikato region are preserved for future generations. Riparian management techniques such as fencing and planting of riparian zones are an effective way of improving water quality and increasing aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity.

An absence of detailed riparian information for the region was identified, specifically, quantitative estimates of the amount of fencing, vegetation and erosion along rivers, streams and drains through pastoral land. Both Clean Streams and Project Watershed will require long-term monitoring (about 20 years) to demonstrate the effects of these initiatives.

The riparian characteristics survey has been designed to quantify the amount of fencing, vegetation and erosion present in streams, rivers and drains through pastoral land in the region. In addition to supporting Clean Streams and Project Watershed, the survey information could potentially support other waikato Regional Council initiatives including the Biodiversity Strategy and environmental education on terrestrial ecology issues such as forest fragmentation. If the survey were repeated in 5-10 years time the initial information would provide a benchmark on which to gauge the effectiveness of Waikato Regional Council riparian policies.

This report describes the method developed and used for the 2002 Regional Riparian Characteristics Survey for the Waikato region.

Regional Riparian Characteristics - 2002 Survey Manual
(1311 kb, 187 seconds to download, 56k modem)

Table of contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 General 1
1.2 The importance of riparian zones 1
1.3 Riparian characteristics survey 2
1.3.1 Background 2
1.3.2 Approach 2
1.3.3 Aim 3
1.4 Data capture method 3
1.5 Rationale for selected method 3
2 Survey sampling design 4
3 Coding and data collected 4
3.1 Fencing 5
3.2 Vegetation 7
3.3 Erosion 12
3.4 Accessways and obstructions 18
3.4.1 Accessway 18
3.4.2 Obstructions 20
3.5 General site 22
3.5.1 Weather condition 22
3.5.2 Land use 22
3.5.3 Topography/soil order/geology 22
3.5.4 Channel width 22
3.5.5 Channel type 22
3.5.6 Valley width 23
3.5.7 Channel shape 23
3.5.8 Stream bed type 24
4 Methods 25
4.1 Pre data collection 25
4.1.1 Equipment used 25
4.2 Data collection 26
4.3 Post data collection 26
4.4 Data input 27
5 Costs 27
Acknowledgements 28
References 28
Appendix 1: Survey design rationale for the 2002 regional survey 29
Appendix 2: Field observation codes 33
Appendix 3: Letter to land owners 35
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