Christchurch has many different waterways, some natural and some artificial. Natural waterways include creeks, streams, channels, lakes and ponds but we also have man made waterways, also known as storm water systems and artificial drains. When it rains the water flows down into the gutters which leads to the drains which goes down into the stormwater system. The water that is in the stormwater system goes into the rivers and out to sea.
A habitat is a kind of a home for a living creature. Water that is natural is for many kinds of fish in the rivers or in the sea. Rubbish is endangering the animals and their habitats in both natural and man made waterways.
A freshwater habitat needs water because the animals and plants there need it to survive. Fresh waterways have macroinvertebrates such as mayfly, Dobson fly, stone fly, backswimmers and water boatmen. Backswimmers eat water boatmen so if there were no water boatmen the back swimmers would have nothing to eat so they would die out. Lots of things in habitats rely on other animals and plants so we need to look after all of them.
Testing our water ways
Our class have been learning about water and if the river water is healthy or unhealthy. Over the past few weeks we have been visiting creeks and rivers such as Dudley creek, Styx Mill lake at Styx reserve and the stormwater drain. We used a technical retrieval device which is a sieve on a stick. We used it to catch little bugs in the water called macroinvertebrates, also known as mayfly, stonefly, backswimmers water boatmen, dobson fly, damselflies and more. These creatures keep the water ecosystem healthy. We have also been learning about how clear the water is which is called turbidity. We used a turbidity tube to see how clear the water is. We used a little booklet to help us which is called an “In-stream and Riparian Habitat Survey” that's what we used to assess what we saw.
Findings and suggested changes
We could change the Health of the river by
Planting more native trees along the bank to keep the water cool and hold the sides up.
You could also dig out all the sediment and replace it with stones and rocks for the invertebrates to hide under as well as taking the sediment out.
You could also take out some of the algae, not all of it, just some of it because a thin layer of algae is good but a thick mat is bad because it causes unhealthiness and it is not good for the environment in the water.
The eroding is also a problem because this also causes more sediment to fall by eroding where the the bank is unstable, and the dirt falls off the side of the river it makes more sediment. That is why trees are good, their roots hold the bank together and does not let the bank fall into the waterways.
Kaitangata means to protect the land and its environment/as well as its waterways. We need to protect these things because we want other people to use them in the future.