We provide public information on river, lake, and groundwater conditions across New Zealand including water quantity and quality.


Robust science is critical in the sustainable management of our precious freshwater resources and environments.

The National Centre for Freshwater provides public information on river, lake, and groundwater conditions across New Zealand including water quantity and quality. It also acts as a distribution point for new technology and management tools for water-related issues.

Investigating ecological impacts on freshwater insects from LED streetlight conversions

Many New Zealand cities and towns have switched over to modern LED street lighting. The move will save on operational costs, but little is known what impact artificial streetlights have on flying freshwater insects which are integral to our waterway ecosystems. NIWA investigated the likely impact as part of a four-year MBIE-funded Smart Idea project.

Effective mitigation systems to manage contaminant losses

Nutrients, sediment, and microbial contaminants are mobilized from urban and agricultural landscapes and enter streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries. These contaminants can degrade water quality, ecological health, and cultural values.

Putting algae to work

Can native freshwater algae help restore the mauri of local waterways? Lawrence Gullery investigates.

Demand grows for NIWA’s Riparian Management Training

NIWA has updated and restarted a course using a riparian planning tool developed by one of its former chief scientists more than 20 years ago.

Unlocking the mysterious life of eels

Tiny, translucent eels may hold the answers to one of the fish world’s great mysteries. Zen Gregor investigates.

Irrigation Insight

Irrigation Insight is a joint industry programme funded by MBIE to examine, on working farms, the ease and effectiveness of using high-resolution weather forecasting, production potential, and drainage estimations for on-farm water management.

Public asked to help build national flood photo database

NIWA is asking people in flood-affected areas to contribute photos to a national database to support understanding of flood hazard and flood risk.

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

New Zealand has just over 50 native freshwater fish species. Of these, 85 % are endemic and 75 % are deemed to be at risk of decline or are threatened.

How does a fish climb a ramp? Very, very cleverly…

New Zealand’s native fish are doing their best to climb up ramps in a NIWA laboratory so scientists can learn how to better help them navigate our tricky waterways.

Protecting freshwater taonga

Taonga species such as tuna (freshwater eels), kōura (freshwater crayfish) and kākahi (freshwater mussels) are central to the identity and wellbeing of many Māori.
A collection of ID guides to algae. Groups include major freshwater algal groups, diatoms and blue-green (cyanobacteria), red and green algae.