Springs prove to be a clear win­ner

Sunday News - - NEWS - NINA HINDMARSH

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.

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