Freshwater and Estuaries

We provide public information on catchment, river, lake and estuary conditions across New Zealand including water quantity, quality and ecosystem health.

Freshwater and Estuaries

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

The National Centre for Freshwater and Estuaries 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.

Keeping tabs on muddy waters

Estuaries provide a crucial link between our rivers and our seas. Sam Fraser-Baxter heads out with a NIWA research team keeping a close eye on these vulnerable transition zones.

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.

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.

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.
Understanding and predicting the sources of contaminants, developing technologies to clean up the sources, and understanding the consequences of water quality degradation for aquatic ecosystems and human use of waterways.

NIWA's underwater health check

At the bottom of our lakes are NIWA divers with waterproof clipboards. Sarah Fraser jumps in to find out what they’re doing.
A collection of ID guides to algae. Groups include major freshwater algal groups, diatoms and blue-green (cyanobacteria), red and green algae.