Eco Detection partners to revolutionise water quality monitoring

An independent panel in charge of a long-awaited review into Overseer, one of the New Zealand’s main farm pollution management tools, concluded it could not be confident in Overseer’s ability to estimate nitrogen loss from farms. 

In a joint statement, the ministers for environment and agriculture said over the coming year, Overseer will be supported while the “next generation” of the tool is developed, or additional tools are made available. 

Specifically, the government’s response would include: 

“a completely new approach to understanding and managing diffuse nutrient loss risk. This might include for example; 

i) near real-time monitoring of water quality at the local scale…” 

Eco Detection, working with Grey Innovation and GHD has installed our ‘lab in the field’ to support collaboration partners, MyEnviro, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Hawke’s Bay Future Farmers Trust to deliver the ‘new approach’ of real-time water quality monitoring in the beautiful Mangaone sub-catchment. 

Working with the Mangaone Catchment Group, part of the national catchment forum run by Crown Research Institutes, Grey Innovation is supporting Eco Detection and MyEnviro in their endeavour to demonstrate that water quality and land use can be linked in a varifiable way. Installed at Rissington Farm, Eco Detection provides the real-time water quality data and My Enviro, the land actions to a digital farm plan. 

For the first time, powerful shared data can raise awareness, help inform regulations (e.g. fertiliser caps/stocking rates) and ultimately create behaviour change that can improve the quality of New Zealand’s freshwater resources.