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In 2001, Fish and Game New Zealand accused the New Zealand Dairy Industry of "destroying the community's natural water resources" through a combination of point and diffuse source pollution and stream habitat modification. The debate that followed was around conflicting values and use of rural water resources, who is responsible for degradation and what should be done. This book examines aspects of the debate through scientific and social frameworks using three interrelated investigations. First, laboratory microcosms are used to compare dairy shed effluent from different treatment technologies and test the role of dilution as a mitigation strategy. Second, conclusions from the laboratory are challenged in the field where the effects of dairy shed effluent discharges are complicated by on-farm stream management practices. Third, key findings are used to evaluate current and alternative governance structures to see if they could facilitate improved on-farm stream management practices. An examination of biophysical and social dimensions in this manner would be of value to those with an interest in the management of complex environmental issues.