Freshwater health continues to improve

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Taranaki's latest freshwater quality monitoring shows ecological health for the region's waterways is continuing to improve, recording some of the best results ever in the past 19 years.

Ecological water health is largely determined by macroinvertebrate monitoring, the number of tiny insects and species found in streams. Taranaki's 2014-15 results of macroinvertebrate (MCI) monitoring show some Taranaki sites have the best results since records began in 1995. These latest results were released in March 2016.

MCI is a nationally recognised measure of water health, used by many regions, which TRC scientists helped develop in the 1980s. MCI assigns a score to each species (from 1-10), based on its tolerance or sensitivity to organic pollution, then calculates the average score of all species present at a site to rate the water quality.

More than half of monitoring sites (29 out of 57) are in the two positive categories for water health - 22 have a positive and very significant MCI trend, up from 15 just three years ago, and a further seven sites have a significant positive trend.

There are no ecological monitoring sites in Taranaki showing significant negative trends.

Supplied by Taranaki Regional Council

- Stratford Press

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