New book reveals latest research on the Waikato River

17 June 2010

river book

A river runs through it: 'The Waters of the Waikato' updates a similar book first published in 1981.

The most recent research on the Waikato River, from Taupo to Port Waikato, has been documented in a new book. The Waters of The Waikato, edited by Dr Kevin Collier and Professor David Hamilton from Waikato University and W N (Bill) Vant (Environment Waikato) and Clive Howard-Williams (NIWA) will be launched next month.

It’s intended as a resource for people who use and manage the river, and covers issues of water quality, sediment levels, wetland and lake protection, pest and native fish, and plant, invertebrate and bird life.

The new book updates a similar publication done in 1981. “We were overdue to update our evolving understanding of the river” says Professor Hamilton. The new book will help us understand the current state of the river, its ecosystems and the impact that humans and their activities have had on its water over the years.”

Forty-eight researchers, some academics, some working scientists, iwi, and others who work in land and water management, contributed to the 15 chapters.

Professor Hamilton says while it’s impossible to cover every river issue, he’s pleased with the extent of this latest book. “We want people to understand the ecological significance of the river and provide a background on the inter-related cultural, environmental and management issues.

“The challenge is to restore and maintain water quality in the river and its inter-connected tributaries, lakes and wetlands and at the same time enhance the river’s ecosystem services to maintain its key role in the economy of the Waikato.”

The Waters of the Waikato has been published by Waikato University’s Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology Research and Environment Waikato, with input from NIWA and 13 other organisations. It will provide a valuable context for a new initiative in “large river research” by the University of Waikato, involving a series of postgraduate student and postdoctoral studies on the Waikato River.

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