Christchurch has many different waterways. Some are natural and some are artificial. Some of the natural waterways are rivers, creeks, and lakes. When it rains on the concrete the rain goes to the gutter then runs into the drains. When the rain goes into the drains it goes through the stormwater system and after that it goes to the rivers. The other rainwater that rains onto the grass, soaks into the grass and goes into the aquifers. Then it gets pumped through a pipe and then it goes through to your taps. If we let our taps keep running or drizzling then all of the fresh water will be wasted.
Testing our waterways
Our class visited many waterways in Christchurch. We visited the Styx river, the Styx mill reserve pond and the stormwater drain behind our school. We tested the turbidity using a tube that had a black disc in it. When we went to Styx Mill reserve we used the “In- Stream and riparian Habitat survey” to visually assess the waterway. We also fished out invertebrates to see what we could find.
Stormwater Drain Findings
The stormwater drain behind Waimairi school is in poor health. The storm water drain didn't have a lot of shade and this is bad because invertebrates can only live in cool water. Also over 99 percent of the stormwater drains stream bed was covered sediment and this is bad because it means that the invertebrates can't hide underneath the rocks.
The stormwater drain is also unhealthy because there is dirt falling into the waterway because the edges are eroding away. This is bad because it means that dirt will turn into mud which is sediment. The vegetation around the waterway is only grass. This means that the banks are not very stable because there are only small roots which means that the banks could start eroding into the water.
Although there are parts of the waterway ecosystem that are unhealthy, there are many changes we can make to improve its health.
- We can plant native plants like Kowhai tree, Flax, Toetoe and much more. If we don't it could cause erosion (erosion is when the side of the river fall into the river ) and planting trees will keep the water cool.
- Stop littering.
- Don't put chemical waste in the drains (paint, oil and soapy water).
- Don't wash our cars on the drive way.
- We could put logs in bits of the stream to make fast rappids.
- Dig out some of the sediment.
Why are these changes important?
- So we can gather food to eat from our waterways (Mahinga Kai)
- So we can swim in them
- To encourage people to come visit our beautiful rivers
- To follow the value of kaitiakitanga. Kaitiakitanga means to care and protect and we want future generations to enjoy our waterways in Christchurch too.