Rivers

Latest news

Preliminary analysis by NIWA climate scientists has shown that the recent Canterbury rainfall was so extreme in some inland places that it could be expected to happen only once every 200 years.
The prodigious rainmaker that hit Canterbury earlier this month saw NIWA field teams out in the elements collecting flood data from bridges, cableways and jetboat gaugings.
A NIWA scientist is asking for the help of skiers, mountaineers and alpine professionals to collect snow for a new research project.
Environmental monitoring technician Patrick Butler has spent hours travelling between the upper and lower reaches of Canterbury’s Waimakariri and Hurunui Rivers. His mission – river water quality sampling.

Our work

The eFlows Explorer webtool is designed to aid broad-scale river flow management planning across 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.
The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.
New Zealand’s freshwater and estuarine resources provide significant cultural, economic, social, and environmental benefits. Competition for the use of these resources is intensifying, and many rivers, lakes and estuaries are now degraded.

Latest videos

The world's most mysterious fish

A video about The world's most mysterious fish. NIWA researchers are working with iwi to try to unlock the secrets of New Zealand tuna—freshwater eels. Every year tiny, glass eels wash in on the tide at river mouths along our coast. But where do they come from and how do they get there?

 

Overview of SHMAK
How healthy is your stream? SHMAK—the New Zealand Stream Health Monitoring and Assessment Kit—has been designed to help you find out.
A day out measuring at Molesworth
A day out measuring at Molesworth
Modelling vegetation-impacted morphodynamics in braided rivers
NIWA is developing numerical models for predicting how the morphology of braided rivers responds to flow regulation and invasive exotic woody vegetation.
Most of the plastic in the ocean originates on land, being carried to the estuaries and coasts by rivers. Managing this plastic on land before it reaches the river could be the key to stemming the tide of marine-bound plastics. The aim of this project is to understand the sources and fate of plastic pollution carried by urban rivers using the Kaiwharawhara Stream as a case study.
It may be rubbish to everyone else, but to Amanda Valois each little scrap of plastic on a river bank or in a waterway tells a valuable story.
Christchurch’s Red Zone is to be the focal point of a scientific experiment involving street lights and insects over summer. 
The Fish Passage Assessment Tool has been developed to provide an easy to use, practical tool for recording instream structures and assessing their likely impact on fish movements and river connectivity.
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.

Freshwater Update 79 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles ranging from NIWA working with NASA; restoring a stream catchment in Kaikōura; looking after urban water; keeping soil and reducing sedimentation; to culling catfish.

‘Swimmability’ of New Zealand rivers

Swimming is a popular activity in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Two attributes of waters that strongly affect aesthetic quality and safety for swimming are visual clarity and faecal contamination. It turns out that these two attributes are fairly well-correlated (inversely) in New Zealand rivers, such that (easily seen) visual clarity provides a rough-but-useful guide to (unseen) microbial quality.
On the bottom of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs is an underwater garden of vivid green, pinks and inky blues.
The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.
Freshwater Update 76 brings you the latest information from our Freshwater & Estuaries Centre, with articles ranging from spring and river water condition to urban waters, didymo and aquatic plant scientists.
As the road behind Hanmer Springs turns to gravel and a dust cloud forms in the rear vision mirror, the southern edge of Molesworth Station unfolds.
A day out measuring at Molesworth
A day out measuring at Molesworth
NIWA is undertaking a five-year nationwide study to find out how different approaches to riparian planting influence water quality improvements and to provide better guidance to the people and groups undertaking stream restoration.
Returning water to our waterways after we’ve used it in our homes, on farms and in industry is a complex and challenging process.
NIWA's Freshwater and Estuaries Chief Scientist Dr John Quinn believes the dairy industry has been responsive in the tools it has adopted to reduce its impact on waterways.
NIWA discusses, in depth, this year's most asked question—what is happening to our fresh waterways?

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All staff working on this subject

Hydro-ecological Modeller
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Freshwater Hydro-Ecologist
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Riparian and Wetland Scientist
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Hydrological Modeller
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River Geomorphologist
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Land and Water Scientist
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
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Hydrology Scientist
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Coastal Technician
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Environmental Monitoring Technician
Hydrodynamics Scientist
Resource Management Scientist
Regional Manager - Auckland
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Environmental Scientist
Algal Ecologist
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