New Zealand is a land of lakes with more than 50,000 across the country. NIWA research, knowledge and tools supports the restoration and management of these vital ecosystems.

  • Freshwater Ecological monitoring

    We offer a range of ecological monitoring tools.
  • Restoration of aquatic ecosystems

    Research Project
    This project aims to increase our knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and their restoration, and apply this to degraded streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries.
  • Lake Wanaka - multibeam

    Lake Wānaka mapped in exquisite detail

    Media release
    NIWA scientists have mapped the whole of Lake Wānaka in incredible detail.  
  • Hunting for freshwater ‘freak of nature’ in Otago

    Media release
    A team of NIWA scientific divers have successfully searched for a freshwater freak of nature in Otago’s alpine lakes.
  • Bottom lining for the control of submerged lake weeds

    Bottom lining is the installation of a flexible covering over the top of beds of aquatic weeds, similar to using weed matting in home gardens. The lining is held in place by weights (e.g., rocks or sandbags) or by pinning. This control method is also called ‘benthic barriers’.
  • Freshwater bioremediation using native mussels - focussed on shallow eutrophic lakes

    Research Project
    The project aim was to harness the filter-feeding capacity of native freshwater mussels on rafts to assist in lake restoration.
  • Check Clean Dry actions

    The Check Clean Dry Campaign aims to stop the spread of freshwater pests by encouraging people going through more than one waterway to check, clean and dry their gear in between.
  • New weapon in fight against invasive aquatic weeds

    Media release
    A combination of artificial intelligence and scientific ingenuity looks set to be the next step forward in protecting Aotearoa New Zealand’s lakes and rivers from invasive aquatic weeds.
  • The future shape of water

    Feature story
    How much is too much? Susan Pepperell looks at some of the tough decisions looming around access to freshwater and how science is helping with solutions.
  • Freshwater species show vulnerability to climate change

    Media release
    A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.
  • Maniapoto Cultural Assessment Framework

    Research Project
    Te Nehenehenui (previously Maniapoto Māori Trust board) and NIWA are working collaboratively to support Ngāti Maniapoto whānau to reconnect with and participate in the assessment of their freshwater according to their values.
  • Constructed wetland guidelines

    Constructed wetlands are a water quality restoration tool that can reduce levels of sediment, nutrients and microbes such as E. coli.