Otago Daily Times

Con­fi­dence Lake Hayes Vi­sion able to restore wa­ter

QUEEN­STOWN

- GUY WIL­LIAMS guy.wil­liams@odt.co.nz Otago Region · Glenn Davis

THE Friends of Lake Hayes are con­fi­dent they fi­nally have a blue­print for restor­ing the lake’s wa­ter to a healthy, swimmable state, its chair­man says.

Mike Hanff said the Lake Hayes Vi­sion study, which would be com­pleted within the next few weeks, would give the lobby group a sci­en­tif­i­cally rig­or­ous strat­egy for restor­ing the lake’s health.

‘‘That’s what’s new — up un­til now we’ve just been ar­gu­ing about what we should be do­ing.’’

The $50,000 study, pre­pared by Ar­row­town en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tancy e3S­ci­en­tific, showed how the the re­cre­ation of wet­lands, in­stal­la­tion of sed­i­ment traps and ri­par­ian plant­ing could re­duce the amount of sed­i­ment and nu­tri­ents en­ter­ing the lake by 25%, Mr Hanff said.

Es­ti­mated to cost $10 mil­lion over at least five years, the project would cre­ate up to 50 jobs.

The study, funded by fam­ily trusts and be­quests, en­vi­ron­men­tal char­i­ties and group mem­bers, is the cul­mi­na­tion of 12 years’ work by the lobby group’s mem­bers to de­velop work­able so­lu­tions for restor­ing the health of the scenic lake be­tween Ar­row­town and Frank­ton.

The presence of phos­pho­rus from the his­tor­i­cal use of fer­tilis­ers in the lake’s catch­ment has caused fre­quent, toxic al­gal blooms that make it un­safe for recre­ational use by peo­ple and dogs.

Mr Hanff said the study’s au­thor, e3S­ci­en­tific man­ag­ing director Glenn Davis, gave a pre­sen­ta­tion about the study to a record at­ten­dance of about 50 at the group’s an­nual meet­ing last Sun­day.

Al­though more needed to be done be­fore phys­i­cal work could be­gin, in­clud­ing get­ting re­source con­sents, con­sult­ing with af­fected par­ties and rais­ing the money, mem­bers were ex­cited be­cause the study showed the project could de­liver the out­comes ev­ery­one wanted.

The work con­tin­ued to be guided by the 1995 Lake Hayes Man­age­ment Strat­egy, an Otago

Re­gional Council doc­u­ment that was in the process of be­ing up­dated, Mr Hanff said.

The re­gional council was also close to fi­nal­is­ing a scop­ing re­port on up­grad­ing the lake’s out­let, a cul­vert un­der State High­way 6 at its south­ern end, which would pre­vent fur­ther flood­ing as well as mak­ing an­other pro­posed re­me­di­a­tion mea­sure pos­si­ble — boost­ing the flow of wa­ter into the lake by aug­ment­ing lake in­flow vol­umes from the Ar­row Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme.

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