Latest news

Flood flows on the Buller River this month were the largest of any river in Aotearoa New Zealand in almost 100 years, NIWA measurements show.
A NIWA scientist is asking for the help of skiers, mountaineers and alpine professionals to collect snow for a new research project.
If you think science and art have nothing in common, think again. At environmental science institute NIWA, it’s all about one inspiring the other.
Now back on dry land, Voyage Leader Richard O'Driscoll reflects on the final days of RV Tangaroa's 2015 Antarctica expedition.

Our work

Bringing together leading scientific organisations and regional councils, this project aims to develop a sophisticated computer modelling framework that will enable users to accurately predict how much freshwater is available, where it has come from, and how quickly it moves through New Zealand catchments.
NIWA has established a network of 11 high elevation meteorological stations aiming to gather information about the amount, extent, seasonal nature and long-term change to snow and ice in alpine regions of New Zealand.
Currently there are gaps in understanding of user decision making processes and public needs and requirements for river forecasting in New Zealand. This project aims to bridge NIWA river forecasting aspirations and capabilities with both the public and decision makers’ requirements.

Latest videos

Hydrology in the Waipori Gorge, Dunedin

For over 100 years Trustpower's Waipori power scheme has supplied Dunedin with hydroelectric power. Our field hydrology team visit the site every three months to take essential measurements of the river flow. We headed out with NIWA environmental technician Elliot Bowie to learn more...

Hydrology Sounds Interesting 2011

The December 2018 New Zealand combined Hydrological and Meteorological Society conference called for a new category of presentation that was short, interesting and artistic. Dr Graeme Smart (NIWA Principal Scientist - Natural Hazards and Hydrodynamics) - took time series of Canterbury hydrologic variables during February 2011 and played these as an orchestral score.

The Hydrological Society & The Meteorological Society of NZ joint conference

19 November 2013 to 22 November 2013

NIWA is sponsoring The Hydrological Society & The Meteorological Society of NZ joint conference

The theme of this year’s conference is Water and Weather: Solutions for health, wealth and environment.

The conference is being held in Palmerston North, and will attract scientists, technicians, consultants, hydrologists, climatologists, students, resource managers and many others. 

Welcome to Freshwater Update 57, with the latest info from our Freshwater and Estuaries centre.

The New Zealand Hydrological Society Conference takes place in Nelson this week. The theme for the conference is "Water: Know your limits". Water conservation and management is a hot topic.

These are some recent publications related to the Environmental flows programme.


Booker, D.J., Graynoth, E. (2013). The relative influence of regional and meso-scale habitat features influencing the density and daytime habitat preferences of longfin and shortfin eels. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 47: 1-20.

These are some recent publications related to the Hydrological observations and predictions programme


Yang, J., McMillan, H., Zammit, C. 2017. Modelling Surface water-groundwater interaction in New Zealand: Model development and application. Hydrological Processes, 31:925–934, DOI 10.1002/hyp.11075.

New Zealanders are increasingly demanding better information on how much water is in our rivers and groundwater aquifers, how that has changed over time and how it might change in the future. This programme will increase our understanding of the hydrological cycle: the quantity of freshwater in our rivers and groundwater systems, where that water came from and how long it took to get there.



All staff working on this subject

Hydro-ecological Modeller
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Surface Water - Groundwater Modeller
Principal Scientist - Natural Hazards and Hydrodynamics
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Hydrology Scientist
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Catchment Modeller
Hydrodynamics Scientist
Regional Manager - Auckland
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