Draft national standards for discrete water quality released
20 November 2017
The long awaited National Environmental Monitoring Standard (NEMS) for Discrete Water Quality was released in draft form for public comment in October.
This NEMS addresses requirements for sample collection, field measurements and laboratory testing for a wide suite of physico-chemical and microbiological water quality variables across groundwater, rivers, lakes and near-shore coastal waters. NIWA oversaw the writing of the four-part Standard with the support of a small technical working group comprising water quality practitioners and scientists from regional councils, GNS Science and Hill Laboratories. Submissions close in December and in the meantime, NIWA is working with regional councils to investigate differences in laboratory practices identified during development of the NEMS that may be affecting the quality of low-level nutrient measurements in New Zealand. The new NEMS should be fully operative around autumn next year, contributing to the wider suite of existing Standards that collectively seek to improve national consistency in environmental monitoring.