SHMAK Manual

Download the entire SHMAK manual here or just download the chapters you need below.

Chapter 1. Introduction

This chapter provides an overview of SHMAK, include who is SHMAK for, why should you use SHMAK and how to use SHMAK.

Download Chapter 1

Chapter 2. Designing your monitoring project

To design a successful monitoring project you will need to consider the why, who, where, what, when and how of monitoring. This chapter provides a process to help you decide why you want to monitor, who you want to use your data and how to design a monitoring plan that fits your goals.

Download Chapter 2

Chapter 3. Monitoring indicators

The monitoring indicators have been subdivided into three categories; water quality, stream life (aquatic plants and animals) and stream habitat.  In this chapter, we discuss why each indicator is important, how it is measured and reported and what it tells us. Before you decide what to monitor, it is important to read through this chapter and understand what each indicator can tell you about the health of your stream.

Download Chapter 3

Chapter 4. Field manual

This chapter provides the information you need to use SHMAK in the field. It includes the instructions for monitoring each indicator, how often to measure and the equipment you will need. Before reading this chapter, you should have read through Chapters 1-3 so you are comfortable with why and when and what you are monitoring.

Download Chapter 4

Chapter 5. Interpreting your results

After you have collected your data, it’s time to work out what it’s saying. Somewhere in that pile of numbers and notes may be a very important story. Your challenge is to draw the story out of the numbers – first for yourself, and then to tell others. This chapter goes over graphs, tables and maps types that can summarise a lot of information and show the important patterns clearly for you to explore your data or present it to an audience.

The NZ Water Citizens website allows you to download your data in spreadsheet form so you can calculate summary statistics and present them in summary tables.


The Appendix includes additional information for E. coli and fish assessments, other equipment to purchase, and a glossary of terms.

Download Appendix


There are a number of forms that complement SHMAK and can help you in understanding your catchment, planning your monitoring and collecting data.