Water’s water, right? Even if it’s contaminated with dog and duck poo, detergent and dirty water from washing vehicles, copper particles from vehicle brake pads, and zinc from roofs of buildings?
Sadly, that’s just some of the contamination that’s affecting the city’s waterways. But what has the greatest impact, and what would you be prepared to do to enhance the quality of Christchurch waterways?
To find the answer, Christchurch City Council is surveying citizens. Head of Strategic Policy Helen Beaumont says the Council wants to understand what people value about our waterways as well as the things that can be done to enhance them.
“We’re hoping to identify and understand what motivates people, the barriers to people taking action and the emotional triggers that prompt change.
“Improving the quality of our waterways is a goal of our community and is a priority for the Council. It’s also a requirement of the Environment Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.
"However, it’s not something that can be achieved by stormwater treatment alone. So, we are proposing a community water partnership programme focused on educating, engaging and empowering communities to help stop contaminants getting into stormwater. “
Ms Beaumont said the survey was part of a wider research project exploring resident behaviours, attitudes and values around waterways and waterway contamination.
“We’re keen to find out what people think of the waterways, how they use them, and what kind of things they think are the main contributors to contamination. Then we can look at changes people are prepared to make or activities they’d support to improve the quality of our waterways.”
The survey would help determine a baseline before in-depth workshops and focus groups with smaller groups to identify in more detail the activities and behaviours to target.