Auckland has a range of landforms, soil types, land cover and land uses, all of which are important and valuable resources for the region. Twenty-seven per cent of Auckland is classified as elite and prime land, but a lot of this land has been lost due to urbanisation and is being further impacted by rural fragmentation. Future growth projections indicate that this trend will continue.

We monitor soil quality and trace element levels in soil. For agricultural and horticultural land uses, soil quality issues include the application of too much phosphorus fertiliser to the soil and soil compaction which affects not only economic potential but also increases the likelihood of soil runoff to the receiving environment.

Soil moisture is monitored across north, south and central Auckland to support agricultural farm management and to inform drought management.

Event based sediment yields are also being measured across various catchments of differing land uses, soil types and topography in the Auckland region. Considering that the bulk of sediment is generated during storm events it is important to determine how much sediment is being lost from land to water in order to identify where resources are required to not only mitigate impact on the receiving environment but to identify preventative ways to reduce the loss at the source.

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