Sunday, 2 August 2015

Healthy waterways report

Christchurch waterways.


Here in Christchurch there are many waterways. Some are natural and some manmade.

If they are natural waterways they are things like streams, rivers, ponds, and many more

But if there manmade it could be something like a stream dug out into someone's garden, stormwater system, or pipe system.

Groundwater connects to springs and the pipe system so we can have pure water. It is like that so we can stay hydrated. It makes me wonder if the water were to be contaminated what would we do about it and how. Springs connect to aquifers. It is like that to give us fresh water. It makes me wonder how is the water so fresh.

The rainwater goes he vinto the grass and the dirt is like a filter.  All the yucky stuff stays in the dirt and is left behind.  The fresh rainwater travels into our aquifers. It takes around 100 years for the fresh water to get to our taps, but it is clean. It makes me wonder how does the stuff underground work as a filter?

We have a flat area in Christchurch where the water is draining the city's water. It is getting mucky and water doesn’t clean itself.  It is like that because of how swampy the area is.  I wonder how we could help our waterways there?


Freshwater Ecosystems

Habitats.

A natural habitat would be something like a forest or the ocean.  There is no such thing as a habitat for robots because that would scare away the wildlife in the area.  Here's a fun fact: houses are like habitats for humans.


Freshwater creature connections.

Eel/tuna connect to the freshwater crayfish because the eel eats the crayfish.  Canterbury mud fish connect to the mayfly larvae because the mud fish eats the mayfly larvae.  The common bully connects to the submerged plants because the plants give the fish a good home and shade.  Eel/tuna connect to mayfly larvae because the eel eats the mayfly larvae.

The paradise duck connects to vegetation because the paradise duck feeds on on vegetation and makes a shelter. Everything is connected in some way.


Why these connections are important.

Because they all live in a ecosystem.   A ecosystem is something where if you take out one thing from it, lots of the other things in ecosystem might die or have to leave. If you made something extinct the thing that relies on it might not know where to go and become extinct too, as well as something that relies on that thing and it would keep going on.  And that's why these and many more connections are important.


Testing our waterways.

Our class have been to many waterways in Christchurch.   For example one I went to is the lake at Styx reserve, but also Dudley creek and the stormwater drain.  We used the  “In-stream and riparian habitat survey” chart to investigate and describe the quality of the area/habitat around the waterways. To look at the turbidity in water we got a a big long plastic tube.   There were measurements on the side of the tube like a ruler to tell us how murky it was. We also looked for macroinvertebrates we used a technical retrieval device (a sieve on a stick).   We also had to sort the macroinvertebrates so the predators wouldn't eat the herbivores, and to sort them we used miniature retrieval device.


Results and Suggested Changes

The stormwater drain behind Waimairi school is in poor health.  We saw that 75% of the bottom of the drain was covered in mud. Invertebrates don't like mud, they prefer stones and rocks so they can hide from other predators. Also, if it gets in their lungs they could suffocate.  So out of 8 I score a 2 that means a very bad score for the stream bottom.

We also saw that about half of the bank was eroding away making dirt fall on the invertebrates and they could get trapped and die because they wouldn't be able to breath.  To prevent the stream bank from eroding, planting trees would keep the stream bank together because of their long thick sturdy roots.  Out of 8 I scored a 4 so far that means a not so good score.

Another thing our class looked at was the shade over the stream. Invertebrates need shade to keep cool because if it's too high of a temperature the invertebrates will leave and have to live somewhere else.  To get more shade I suggest  planting more plants like bushes and trees.  Out of 8 I would score a 2 meaning not much shade over the stream. Our class were also looking at what types of plants were surrounding the stream.  There was mostly just grass and bare ground around the stream. Like I mentioned earlier, planting new trees and plants will help make this better.
















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