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Water pollution in the West Coast Region

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Water pollution is an environmental issue on the West Coast of New Zealand.

Water resources and water pollution come under the jurisdiction of the Resource Management Act and is controlled by the regional councils - for the West Coast it is the West Coast Regional Council.

A 2008 State of the Environment report showed that:[1]

  • acid mine drainage has significant effects on freshwater ecosystems
  • less than 5% of the water samples taken from contact recreation sites indicated unsafe swimming conditions
  • point source pollution has decreased and nonpoint source pollution has increased
  • Water deterioration occurs at the lower levels of a number of catchments
  • Water quality improvements were evident in a number of water quality indicators.


Grey RiverEdit

Raw sewage is discharged into the Grey River after heavy rainfall. Historically, sewage and stormwater from Greymouth, Cobden and Blaketown was discharged directly to the Grey River. Changes to the Grey District Council's wastewater schemes provide separation and treatment for sewage, except during periods of high rainfall, such as spring, when the capacity of the sewage treatment is exceeded.[2]

Acid mine drainageEdit

The West Coast has a long history of mining and some of the waterways suffer from acid mine drainage as a result of the leaching of acidic water from mining activity.

Drinking waterEdit

Eighty two percent of the population is supplied by reticulated drinking water with 28% having some form of treatment to improve H2O quality. None of the water supplies reach drinking water standards.[3]

Lake BrunnerEdit

The water on Lake Brunner has been monitored since the 1990s and it shows that the water quality of the lake is declining.

Ngakawau RiverEdit

Water from the Stockton open cast coal mine pollutes the Ngakawau River.

See alsoEdit


  1. Horrox, J. (June 2008). West Coast Surface Water Quality. West Coast Regional Council. Retrieved on 8 August 2010.
  2. Bromley, Tui (31 October 2012). Effluent with your whitebait?. The Greymouth Star. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved on 31 October 2012.
  3. Environmental determinants in the West Coast. Joint report by the West Coast DHB and the CPH–West Coast (2008). Retrieved on 8 August 2010.

External linksEdit

Recycling in (USA, UK, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Long Island)

Water resources (China) •

Water pollution (plastic particle) (USA, China, India, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Canterbury, The West Coast Region) •

Flood (2011 Thailand, Bangladesh, 2010 Pakistan,) •

Rainwater harvesting (UK, Kerala) •

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