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  • As the population increases and water supplies are challenged with human impacts and climate change, a plentiful supply of drinking water in the future is not guaranteed. We need to protect and look after our drinking water to make sure that we have enough water to go around now and in the future.

    Land use – impacts on waterways

    Discover some of the issues involving land use and water quality.

    Kaitiakitanga is at the heart of protecting our water resources. Students use this concept to consider new ways of managing freshwater ecosystem health.

    This activity is part of a suite of resources that support Smart Water – a context for learning, which provides students and teachers with opportunities to connect with water and learn more about drinking water in the Waikato region. The science and mātauranga concepts that underpin Smart Water are transferable to other locations in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    In this activity, students explore the Waikato region’s water issues: their causes, effects and alternative possibilities.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • identify issues for our freshwater sources and water bodies
    • identify the effects, alternative solutions and future consequences of current issues.

    Download the Word file (see link below).

    Nature of science

    This activity supports the Nature of Science ‘Participating and contributing’ strand. Students use their growing science knowledge when considering issues of concern to them.

    Related content

    Smart Water – a context for learning groups Smart Water resources into key science and teaching concepts that underpin water conservation.

    Rivers and Us – a context for learning has pedagogical information and links to numerous resources that explore water use and water quality.

    Activity ideas

    Other activities in Smart Water:

    Useful links

    Visit Smart Water for water level alerts, water saving tips and more.

    The following websites have more detailed information about the Waikato River’s health and water quality:


    This resource has been produced with the support of Smart Water.

    Rights: Smart Water

    Smart Water

    Smart Water is a partnership between Hamilton City Council, Waipā District Council and Waitomo District Council. Aiming to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of water from source to tap, it supports schools, organisations and the community to use water sustainably.

      Published 11 May 2022 Referencing Hub articles
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