Coal-Fired Power Station Impact on the Biodiversity of the Waikato River

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There are numerous effects of building a coal- fired power station on the biodiversity of Waikato River in Hamilton. This is because the construction of a power station will be able to cause water pollution by discharging its wastewater into the river. River Waikato is the longest river in New Zealand and mostly used by the people. This river majorly used to provide electricity through the use of coal fire. This paper therefore seeks to explain the impacts of building a coal fired power station on the biodiversity.

The construction of coal-fired power station has had an effect on the diversity by increasing water pollution which threatens aquatic life. The discharge of hot and waste water into the river killed aquatic animals like fish and even cause their deformation as shown below.

Building of such a power station also increased water pollution changing the color of water, its content and quality. This condition cannot allow the growth of some plants along and inside the river but instead kill or suppress the growth of aquatic plants. The availability of power station also caused deforestation and this result into extinction of some natural species of trees and herbs. The discharge from the power station also threatens life in the river. This is because of the discharge of excess sediments into the river reducing light level required for photosynthesis killing or suppressing the growth of aquatic plants. The discharge of effluent into the river also reduces oxygen levels in the water necessary for fish to breathe. This threatens life of fish and may cause death of fish in water.

High pollution of river Waikato by discharge from the power station also increased nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous which influence the growth of nuisance plants which compete with native species. Due to high competition, they ensure that nuisance plants out-compete native plants species causing their extinction.


There is a great effect of building coal-fired power station in Waikato River on biodiversity. This is because the availability of power station leads to discharge of industrial effluent into the river which threatens the life of aquatic animals and plants. This kind of discharge pollutes water which prevents penetration of light into the water preventing photosynthesis process in aquatic plants. It also reduces the amount of oxygen in water for fish breathing and this lead to the death of some native fish. Finally, high pollution of Waikato River also increases nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients in water. This promotes the growth of some nuisance plants which compete and kill native aquatic native plants.


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