NZWaM - Hydro-Geofabric

Project name -Title
Project name or brief description of topic



The component

The Hydro-Geofabric geo-spatial database will form the backbone of the NZWaM-Hydro project. It is built on a river network based on a new hybrid digital elevation model (DN3 -digital network 3), which has a higher resolution to that originally used in the REC (River Environmental Classification).

In addition to traditional geospatial information used in hydro-geological (surface and groundwater) models, the Hydro-Geofabric will ingest surface and groundwater isotope data. This will enable the data to be coupled and parameters to be set for a new water quantity and ‘water age’ model. This new model will simulate the transfer of water and pollutants from source to receiving water bodies.

The Hydro-Geofabric is developed using: 

i) raw spatial and temporal hydro-geological data e.g. river networks, soils, geology, land use, climate; and
ii) derived spatial and temporal hydrological parameters e.g. soil moisture content at saturation, hydraulic conductivity at surface and for different hydro-geological layers.  

As part of this task, data is acquired from Regional Councils & LAWA, Crown Research Institutes, Land Resource Inventory, the NIWA Climate Database, remote-sensing platforms, and via collaboration with industry sectors.

 The objective

The purpose of the Hydro-Geofabric task is to gather, harmonise and augment existing multi-source spatial datasets to form a framework tailored for hydrological modelling.  This data foundation will provide standardised and updateable geospatial information that will enable end-users to deepen their understanding of current water resources, and help facilitate implementation of the NPS-FM across all regions of New Zealand.

The Hydro-Geofabric is co-developed with Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and GNS Science and provides the underpinning architecture of NZWaM-hydrology. Going forward, the Hydro-Geofabric will be run and maintained using NIWA’s High Performance Computing Facility.

The project is funded through the Strategic Science Investment Fund from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

Planned tasks for the year

  • Apply corrections and updates to version 3 of the NZ Digital River Network (DN3) across New Zealand (following feedback from regional councils).
  • In collaboration with Benchmarking Task, implement hydrological parameters derived from S-map and Qmaps, in three Regional Council Partner catchments (Taruheru (Gisborne); Rangitikei (Horizons); and mid-Mataura (Southland)).
  • Develop national scale Hydro-Geofabric (v1.0) and associated end-user guidance documents.

Progress to date

  • Digital River Network (DN3) and associated surface water hydrological characteristics has been completed across New Zealand.
  • Implementation of updated soil, land cover and geological data in the derivation of catchment scale hydrological characteristics.

Outputs (if applicable)
Papers published, web links, reports, etc.