Fresh waterways in Christchurch include ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, and wetlands, and also include human made systems like the stormwater system and artificial drains. The things we do not want in any of our waterways are rubbish, soapy water from washing cars and more.
When the rain goes into the gutters it goes down to the stormwater system and then it goes into the rivers. After that it goes into the ocean.
If the rain soaks into the ground it goes to the underground stream called an aquifer. Then it flows to a hard surface so it will goes up to the springs. The springs go into the streams, wetlands or makes more streams. The aquifer can also go up into the pipes and into people's houses.
When the rain comes down, the water will go down the drain but if there was rubbish in the way of the water it will take it with it. If the artificial drains go into the Avon river it will go into the rivers that are connected to the Avon river. Then the creature like the mayfly will die. We do not want the mayfly to die then the creature that eat or needs the Mayfly in other ways will die too.
An habit is a place where animals live. For an example, a natural habitat for a fish is a river. If there was some rubbish in the river fish can get caught in it and we do not want to have no more fish in the future or let them get endangered.
The mud fish protects it's habitat but their habitat also protects some other creatures like the dragonflies,freshwater mussel and freshwater crayfish. The common bully relies on the mayfly because if we take away the mayfly the common bully will die since there food source will be taken away. The Pukeko needs the vegetation for food. If the vegetation disappears the Pukeko will start disappearing too.
The crayfish is an important part of the freshwater ecosystem. If the crayfish dies the eels, shags and the blue duck will die because it's food source is taken away from the ecosystem. That will take away three creatures by just taking one away. It is important to take good care of our freshwater ecosystems because if one creature is taken away every animal that is part of the ecosystem could die.
How you will find if the habitats is healthy is by looking for the animals that live in the waterway. The animals that are in the waterway will tell you how healthy it is. You can also find it by looking at the things that are in the waterway.
The signs in a healthy waterway will be mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies larvae and more. You will only find these creatures in clean waterways because they only like temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius. It is not good if the water is 20 degrees or up.
In an unhealthy waterway you only find a few snails and worms or you will find nothing. You will also know if it is a unhealthy waterway if there is a thick mat of algae growing in long strands instead of thin coating of algae.
A sign of erosion means there is no trees or any other plants that can hold the soil so to stop the soil going into the waterway. Instead of soil there should be rocks underneath so the creatures can hide under the stones.
A waterway that has a fast stream flow it is a good sign there might be some mayfly, stonefly and more creatures. If you find shade and the water is under 15 degrees you may find eels in the waterways that means there are freshwater crayfish there since the eel eat the freshwater crayfish too.
Testing our waterway
Our class visited different waterways like the lake at Styx reserve, Styx river and Dudley creek to test how healthy the waterway is. We used the “In stream and Riparian habitat survey” chart to graph how clean it is.
At the lake at Styx reserve we used the technical retrieval device (a net on a stick) and scooped up the insects in the lake with the technical retrieval device. We then put the things that we caught into a white container so we can see what's in the container. At the Styx Mill river we tested the turbidity with a turbidity tube . First we used the the water that wasn't stirred up with sediment . The people that looked through the turbidity tube could look really far down it . But when it was steered up the people couldn't see that far which told us to that when it isn't steered up you can't see the sediment that is on the ground.
We also looked at what was in the river. We did it differently to how we did it at the lake at Styx Mill reserve . The lady that was helping us had already picked up the invertebrates in a white container so we counted them.
Testing our stormwater drain
The stormwater drain behind Waimairi School is in poor health. I know this because there is not much shade so the animals wouldn't be able to live there since it will be too hot for them. Another reason is there no trees to hold the soil up. If there is no trees around to hold the soil, when there is water in the stormwater drain the soil will make the water really murky. Also the trees can provide shade as well. In addition to this, rubbish can get clogged in the stormwater drain. Also there was about 50 percent of sediment on the bottom of the stormwater drain. Instead of that it would be better to have 100 percent stones so it won't go all murky when it really rains. Overall it got a poor out of excellent, good, fair and poor.
The storm water drain behind Waimairi school might look clean but I think it will be needing some improvements:
it might need some tussock on the edge so it won't overflow.
I think we should replace the sediment with stones so the creatures can hide in it and so the water in the storm water drain won't go murky .
Pick all the rubbish out of the stormwater drain and around it so the rubbish won't blow into it.
Put some native trees around it so will provide shade and avoid erosion.
Why these changes are important
If the waterways were polluted you will not be able to play water sports or play in it because when you are playing in the polluted waterway you might drink it when you are playing then you can get really sick. Kaitiakitanga is really important to Maori culture. Kaitiakitanga means to protect the land and care about the waterways so in the future the people can enjoy the waterway as much as we do.