What is a POD Group?
North Otago consists of 3 specific catchment areas, The Awamoko, The Waiareka and The Kakanui. You only need to take a drive to see that each of the catchment areas are diverse in their own ways and the topography of each creates a natural separation between them. With the farm conversions that have taken place, most now have a combination of sheep and beef, deer and dairy and some have a presence of arable farming as well. Some farms have irrigation while others are dry.
Because of this, the challenges faced by each of the catchment areas are the same... but different.
While there is a need for rural and urban communities to have a greater understanding of each other,
the same can be said for the different farming practices. Ultimately, each has the same degree of
responsibility to ensure our waterways are sustainably managed by all farmers and stakeholders.
This can be done individually which can be expensive and time consuming or collaboratively through
the pooling of resources.
Having the groups work together collaboratively enables them to prioritise the areas that need the
greatest focus and the economies of scale that come from collaboration produce greater outcomes for less cost.
Given the Otago Regional Councils approach to improving water quality is effect based, it quickly
became apparent that a catchment monitoring model was the most efficient way to progress. There is a need to develop accurate data sets that in turn will help us determine an accurate base line from which we can quantify any changes in land use practices and the subsequent changes in water quality.
By measuring water quality from multiple points within each catchment, we can identify specific
catchment issues and address them accordingly. By being targeted and transparent with our activity,
we can remove the emotional, generalisations being splashed through the media about poor water
quality in our region by actually showing where the issues are and demonstrating best practice to