Current state of the Rotorua Lakes
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15115
The Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes’ programme of restoration has arguably been the most ambitious and effective of any for a group of lakes around the world. It has been characterised by willingness to ‘try things’, to be guided closely by scientific input, and to now have excellent structures for monitoring and implementation of actions. Still, major challenges remain. One of these is the potential for a sense of complacency, particularly when some lakes have responded extremely positively to in-lake treatments (e.g. Rotorua) or major one-off actions (e.g. Rotoiti). It is essential that these improvements in lake water quality, some of which may not be able to be maintained indefinitely in their current mode, not delay further catchment management actions. Another challenge is exotic oxygen weeds, particularly where it is difficult to harvest large accumulations. The final challenge relates to climate. Recent years have been characterised by droughts and intense rainfall events that challenge land management practices. Further, surface water temperatures in the lakes in 2015 have been greater than at any time in the past. If these changes are symptomatic of a future climate, then there will need to be greater effort put into building resilience in the lakes and their catchments.
LakesWater Quality Society
© 2015 LakesWater Quality Society.