Evaluation of the integrated catchment management pilot project - final report June 2009
Report: TR 2009/17
Author: Ruth Hungerford, Momentum Research & Evaluation
In 2006, Waikato Regional Council identified that agricultural practices were contributing to rising nutrient levels within the region’s waterways, and particularly within the Waikato hydro lakes. In response, they launched a three year intensive policy implementation pilot process, the integrated catchment management (ICM) pilot project, within two of the region’s sub-catchments.
The objective of the ICM pilot project was to investigate the potential effectiveness of ICM approaches in achieving sustainable improvements in water quality.
The two catchments, Little Waipa and the Waipapa were chosen because they were of a manageable size, were representative of land use within the Waikato region, had a large agricultural component, had a trend of increasing nutrient leaching (and this was able to be monitored), had a mix of relationships with Waikato Regional Council, and did not have significant geothermal issues .
In order to monitor the pilot and determine its effectiveness, the project team developed an evaluation plan with seven key areas to measure. Procedures to collect and collate data relevant to the success areas were incorporated into the project. These included staff collecting and reporting on some information and an independent evaluator collecting and reporting on some information.
The independent evaluation was introduced early in the project and regularly fed back into the project as it progressed. Independent evaluation activities included interviews with participating and non-participating farmers, interviews with industry representatives, analyses of spreadsheet data and facilitated meetings with ICM staff.
|1.2||Integrated Catchment Management||1|
|1.2.1||ICM pilot project||1|
|2.1||Catchment location and land use||2|
|2.2.2||Nutrient leaching loads||4|
|2.3||The catchments: summary||5|
|3||Adoption of innovations||5|
|3.1||Key points from literature||5|
|3.2||Adoption of innovations: summary||8|
|5.1||Project activities and timeline||8|
|5.1.3||Project management and staffing||10|
|5.1.5||Project activities and timeline: summary||12|
|5.2.1||Farmer engagement in ICM||12|
|5.2.2||Opinions about Environment Waikato||16|
|5.2.3||Understanding of the issues||16|
|5.4||Farm planning process||18|
|5.4.2||Referral and other sources of information||19|
|5.4.3||Farm planning process: summary||19|
|5.5.3||Reasons for uptake||20|
|5.5.4||Reasons for uptake of actions and benefits on-farm||21|
|5.5.5||Barriers to uptake of actions||23|
|5.5.6||Actions undertaken: summary||24|
|5.6||Environment Waikato systems||24|
|5.6.3||Environment Waikato systems: Summary||25|
|5.7||Feedback to policy||25|
|5.7.1||Feedback to policy: summary||26|
|5.8||Science and process development||26|
|5.8.1||Use of models||26|
|5.8.3||Science and process development: summary||27|
|5.9||The impact of nutrient reduction strategies||27|
|5.9.2||Impact on leaching||28|
|5.9.3||The ‘gap model’||30|
|5.9.4||Impact of strategies: summary||31|