Springs prove to be a clear winner
THE crystal clear waters of the Te Waikoropupu¯ Springs in Golden Bay have become even clearer, a study says.
Scientists say the average visual clarity of the water at the popular tourist destination is 75m, up from 63m when it was first measured in 1993.
Te Waikoropupu¯ Springs are the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water measured in the world.
They are the subject of a Water Conservation Order application that seeks to preserve their exceptional clarity, with hearings scheduled to begin next week.
NIWA scientists contracted by the Tasman District Council deployed instruments for three months between October 2017 and January 2018 at the springs near Takaka and now say they are "broadly comparable" to Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park, which has a visual clarity of 70-80m.
Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne said the new measurements were "very reassuring" but campaigners say they remain concerned.
Save Our Springs co-ordinator Kevin Moran said while he was "delighted" at the study’s findings, he was still very concerned about the impact of intensive dairy farming on the aquifer’s health.
"I also wonder why the levels of nitrate measured at Te Waikoropupu¯ are 40 times that of other Takaka waterways?"
Te Waikoropupu Springs is one of Golden Bay’s most popular tourist attractions.