Wastewater Management in the Floating Treatment Wetlands of Lakes Rotorua, New Zealand
Parm Gill, Connor Paone, Mabel Bob Manuel
Keywords. Eutrophication, nutrients, pollutants, storm water
Summary. City wastewater and agricultural runoff have been accused of having played a substantial role in causing the ecological imbalance of Lake Rotorua and Rotoehu. Before floating treatment wetland (FTW) implementation, both lakes suffered from nitrogen limitation and chronicle harmful algal blooms. The detrimental effects decreased aquatic biodiversity, damaged world-renowned trout fisheries, and led to a dramatic decline in tourism. In response, water quality managers learned to control excess nutrients using FTW’s Rotorua and Rotoehu. What does this mean in a larger context? By engineering functional floating wetlands, ones that are hard to disseminate from the environment, we are tasked with re-defining the old nature into a more contemporary nature. In attempt to understand this context, the lenses of history, geographic and ecological, adaptive management, governance and future trajectory were applied to further understand the role of the changing nature of FTW’s as waste mangers.
Acknowledgements. We would like to thank the tireless contributions of Dr. Eric Higgs (School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria).